LAS VEGAS — UFC president Dana White has promised his company will be the first major sports organization to return to a normal schedule amidst the coronavirus, and he’s already planning his next event on May 9 at a location to be determined.
White told ESPN on Tuesday he is already deep in the process of building out the card, despite the recent postponement of a UFC 249 pay-per-view event on April 18. The UFC has now had to postpone events on March 21, March 28, April 11 and April 18 due to the coronavirus.
In an interview with ESPN late last week, White was adamant he had a plan in place to hold UFC 249 at Tachi Palace Hotel and Casino on tribal lands in Lemoore, California, but said ESPN asked him to “stand down” due to ongoing concerns regarding the coronavirus. ESPN later confirmed White’s comments in a released statement.
The UFC’s next pay-per-view event is UFC 250, originally scheduled to take place on May 9 in Rio de Janeiro. That event will no longer happen in Brazil, but White told ESPN that is the date his promotion has targeted for a return — and he already has the potential card built out.
Some of the targeted fights include an interim lightweight title fight between Tony Ferguson and Justin Gaethje, a bantamweight title fight between Henry Cejudo and Dominick Cruz, who has publicly accepted the bout, and a female featherweight fight between Amanda Nunes and Felicia Spencer, both of whom have publicly accepted.
Several of the bouts have already been agreed to, while others are still in the process of being finalized. A new welterweight matchup, for instance, between Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone and Anthony Pettis has been verbally agreed to, per sources.
A number of other matchups were previously booked at UFC 249, or on one of the other postponed cards. The entire targeted lineup, which is subject to change, according to White is as follows:
White declined to comment on a potential location for the event. The UFC president has commented on the possibility of a ‘Fight Island’ being ready to host an event in a month, but has not disclosed where it is.