Sports | April 25, 2020 1:41 pm

UFC Will Hold Three Events in Florida Thanks to “Essential Businesses” Law

The winner of the May 9 UFC249 main event will face Khabib Nurmagomedov

UFC Dana White
UFC President Dana White speaks to the media following the UFC 246 event at T-Mobile Arena on January 18, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Thanks to Florida naming sports as “essential businesses,” UFC will hold three events in the Sunshine State starting with a blockbuster lightweight main event between Tony Ferguson and Justin Gaethje on May 9. UFC president Dana White confirmed as much in an Instagram Live Q&A with ESPN’s Brett Okamoto on Friday, and he also stated that the winner of that fight already has their next fight in planning:

Ferguson-Gaethje fight is one of the most violent you will ever see. I can guarantee that. That the fight is going to be incredible. Both of these guys. Their style. The way they fight. Their mindset. This fight’s unbelievably violent. It’s going to be an incredible fight. Two of the best in the world. And the winner will fight Khabib for the title.

Ferguson had originally been scheduled to fight Khabib Nurmagomedov at the event before the champion pulled out, setting the stage for Gaethje to step in and fight for an Interim Title. Despite being in line to fight Nurmagomedov, Ferguson is no longer guaranteed a shot at the division’s title if he were to lose to Gaethje in Jacksonville.

UFC is one of the few sporting entities still holding events during the coronavirus pandemic, and on top of the May 9th card, they will also hold events in Jacksonville’s VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena on May 13 and May 16.

The company has not released its plans to ensure the safety of the fighters and the production crew, but following Florida governor Ron DeSantis’s ruling that sporting activities like WWE and UFC are “essential,” the world’s leading MMA enterprise decided to jump at the chance to continue hosting match cards while they can. There will be no fans in attendance at any of the planned UFC events.

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Read the full story at Essentially Sports