UFC President Dana White appeared today on ESPN’s Instagram Live, conducting an interview with ESPN’s Brett Okamoto.
The UFC President didn’t just confirm the previously announced UFC 249 card for May 9, but also announced some new dates for UFC events.
Those dates are going to be a trio of Fight Night cards on May 13, May 16 and May 23 and that means there will be a total of three UFC events in a week one period starting with UFC 249 on May 9, with an additional card one week after that. While White announced a trio of new Fight Night cards, no bouts have been announced for either May 13, May 16 or May 23. Also, no location has been announced for the May 23 card, while the May 13 and May 16 cards are scheduled to be held in Jacksonville, Florida. Florida has also been confirmed as the state hosting UFC 249, with White saying he has been in contact with the Florida governor and athletic commission.
White did say that the promotion has been working with the Nevada Athletic Commission (NAC) by giving them their proposal for running events during the pandemic, while also stating that he won’t feed the media with additional coronavirus talk.
White also confirmed a previous statement of his by stating that the promotion will resume a full schedule starting with UFC 249 on May 9. White also reiterated that whoever wins the UFC 249 main event between Tony Ferguson and Justin Gaethje will fight UFC Lightweight Champion Khabib Nurmagomedov next, with that bout happening in September or October.
Another hot topic among the MMA community is the much ballyhooed “Fight Island,” which White says should be up and running by June. The plan is to hold international events on the island, but fighters from all over the world are going to be allowed to compete on “Fight Island.” White also revealed to Okamoto that the Octagon is going to be on a beach, with training facilities and hotels also being housed on the “Fight Island.” The UFC President also revealed that the “Fight Island” may just be used until the coronavirus pandemic comes to an end.
A huge part of the UFC is their fan base and unfortunately for those fans who want to be at the shows, it is going to be a long time because White doesn’t know when they are going to be allowed to return to the arenas for the UFC cards. Las Vegas, Nevada is also the home to the majority of UFC cards and White does so the promotion has a plan to run events there again, but that plan won’t be revealed to the media at this time because they do not need to know it in White’s opinion.
One of the final topics that White discussed was the UFC pay-per-view schedule, which he said the promotion plans to both catch up on and completely fulfill by the end of the year.