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FIGHT NIGHT: UFC becomes first major professional sports event to return in the U.S.

The UFC is set to become the first major professional sport to return in the United States since the COVID-19 pandemic shut things down back in March.

This evening, UFC 249 will take place on pay-per-view, featuring the Interim Lightweight Championship between Tony Ferguson and Justin Gaethje and the World Bantamweight Championship between Henry Cejudo and Dominick Cruz.

Originally planned for April 18 in Brooklyn, NY, the event was then moved to California before being officially postponed due to the coronavirus. UFC president Dana White – who has been outspoken about being the first sport to return to action in the midst of the pandemic – opted to move the fight to VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida.

“I wanted to keep right on going; we’ll figure this thing out,” White told Sports Illustrated. “If this thing is that deadly, it’s gonna get us no matter where we hide or what we do.”

Ferguson vs. Gaethje and Cejudo vs. Dominick Cruz will serve as the co-main events, which will close out the main card starting at 10 p.m. ET.

Here are the rest of the UFC 249 main card fights, along with the odds for each, courtesy of William Hill Sportsbook.

FAVORITE UNDERDOG WEIGHTCLASS
Tony Ferguson -190 Justin Gaethje +160 Interim lightweight title
Henry Cejudo -220 Dominick Cruz +180 Bantamweight title
Francis Ngannou -280 Jairzinho Rozenstruik +230 Heavyweight
Calvin Kattar -240 Jeremy Stephens +200 Featherweight
Greg Hardy -195 Yorgan De Castro +165 Heavyweight

The price for the pay-per-view will be $64.99.

Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza was also scheduled to fight Uriah Hall, but was pulled from the event after testing positive for the coronavirus on Friday.

“UFC’s medical team examined Souza and his two cornermen and found them to be currently asymptomatic, or not exhibiting the common symptoms of COVID-19,” the promotion said in a statement. “As per UFC’s health and safety protocols, all three men have left the host hotel and will be self-isolating off premises, where UFC’s medical team will monitor their conditions remotely and will provide assistance with any necessary treatment.”

After testing the other 23 other athletes scheduled to compete at UFC 249 – all negative results – UFC officials decided to move forward with the event after conferring with the Florida State Boxing Commission.

Leading up to the main card will be six prelims, which will air on ESPN starting as early as 6:30 p.m. ET. In total, there will be 11 total fights for your viewing pleasure.

Will you be watching?

Article written by Jack Pilgrim

Follow me on Twitter: @JackPilgrimKSR

3 Comments for FIGHT NIGHT: UFC becomes first major professional sports event to return in the U.S.



  1. michaelb
    2:19 pm May 9, 2020 Permalink

    Yess let’s get the ball rolling on this pro sports stuff so college can feel the pressure of opening. / sorry for the offended here /



  2. ukbradstith
    2:19 pm May 9, 2020 Permalink

    With no fans, this will be no different than wrestling. I know wrestling is staged of course, but I never understood how they have not been made to stop. Not sure why UFC can’t perform, but WWE can. It’s the same exposure rate.



  3. UKBestK
    1:55 am May 10, 2020 Permalink

    The lack of crowd noise was weird at first, but I got used to it. The fights were pretty good.