As combat sports continue to take a hit due to the COVID-19 worldwide pandemic, the state of California is putting an end to any chance of events taking place in the month of May. On Thursday the California State Athletic Commission announced they were shutting down all events scheduled to take place in May, which affected multiple events between the UFC and Bellator.
In a release from CSAC the decision to cancel all events for the month of May did not come as an easy one but ultimately was made because of guidance from California Governonr Gavin Newsom and the state’s Department of Public Health.
“The Commission didn’t take this decision lightly and understands the potential economic loss to promoters and the industry of combative sports. We had to weigh the best interest of our fighters and the community around us.” (via ESPN)
This move directly affects the UFC’s event which was scheduled to take place in San Diego on May 16 and was set to be headlined by a lightweight fight between Dustin Poirier and Dan Hooker. Poirier recently threw his name in the mix to replace lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov who withdrew from UFC 249 due to travel restrictions in Russia, but said that the UFC told him to keep training for the fight against Hooker.
Before this decision was made by the California State Athletic Commission, Bellator made the decision earlier in the week to postpone all three of their events scheduled for May, two of which were set to take place in the state of California.
While Bellator officially put their events on hold, the UFC and Dana White are still actively looking for a location for UFC 249, scheduled for April 18, to take place but no official location has been set for the event due to restrictions in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
As of now, Bellator’s return to live events will come on June 6 in Chicago with a main event lightweight rematch between Michael Chandler and Benson Henderson.