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Dana White announces full crowd attendance for UFC 261 in April, with three title fights on deck

When the COVID-19 pandemic changed the world last much, specifically the sports world, UFC President Dana White promised to be the first major sport to get back into action in the United States, and he delivered on that promise. After having to postpone three consecutive events at the beginning of the pandemic, the UFC went from March until May 9 without having an event, but they were the first sport back, as White had promised. Now, just over a year later, it appears that the UFC will be one of the first major sports leagues to welcome fans back in full capacity for an upcoming PPV event.

Dana White posted a video on his Twitter account on Monday night that announced there will be a full crowd allowed to attend UFC 261 on April 24, in Jacksonville, Florida which will feature three title fights. As ESPN’s Ariel Helwani pointed out, the Professional Bull Riders League and the Texas Rangers will also be looking to host a full capacity crowd, which would make them first before the UFC.

“What’s up everybody, UFC President Dana White here and I’ve been waiting a year for this day to tell you, we are back. UFC 261 on April 24 will be in Jacksonville, Florida with a full house of fans, full capacity VySstar Veterans Memorial Arena. And you know I’m bringing an incredible card, we have three title fights. The welterweight championship, Kamaru Usman vs Jorge Masvidal 2, the flyweight championship Valentina Schevchenko vs Jessica Andrade, and the fight everyone’s been waiting for, the strawweight championship Weili Zhang vs Rose Namajunas. This is a stacked crowd in front of 15,000 UFC fans, tickets go on sale very soon. Ladies and gentlemen, we are back.”

When the UFC became the first sport back to competition in 2020, they held their first events in Jacksonville, Florida before heading to UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada, and Yas Island in Abu Dhabi where they began to brand ‘Fight Island’.

One of the most shocking revelations in White’s story is the rematch for the welterweight championship between champion Kamaru Usman and Jorge Masvidal which will come less than a year after their first meeting, that saw Usman win by unanimous decision, putting a halt to Masvidal’s three-fight winning streak. Masvidal has not competed since.

The last time Usman was inside the cage he successfully defended his title against Gilbert Burns back at UFC 258 when he secured a third-round TKO victory.

The other two title fights had already been previously reported to take place at UFC 261, with strawweight champion Weili Zhang set to defend her belt against Rose Namajunas, and flyweight champion Valentina Schevchenko taking on Jessica Andrade for the title.

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