Is the UFC headed to Texas?
Since the global coronavirus pandemic began last March the UFC has been the leader in sports at working to continue their business. When baseball, basketball, and many other sports shut down operations, the UFC found a way. If you remember the pandemic began right around the time UFC 223 was set to make a massive hit in Brooklyn, NY. That event was to be headlined by Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Tony Ferguson. COVID-19 pushed a wrench in the mix. First Nurmagomedov was out and stuck in Russia, then the event needed to be move. The UFC got it done and more. They set up shop for the remainder of the year in Las Vegas and Abu Dhabi and became the leader in pandemic safety and events held throughout the year. The UFC is looking to continue this leadership as now the first sport to pack houses again for live fans.
Governor Greg Abbott of Texas has lifted all COVID regulations and allows for people to attend events and not be required to wear a mask. This seemed to be music to Dana Whites’ ears.
“As soon as the governor of Texas said that, I called,” Dana White said at the UFC 259 pre-fight press conference. “Dallas said no and (we’re) working on Houston…so (we’ll) see if we can get Houston done. I want to go to Texas ASAP. I’ll go in the next two, three weeks. I’m ready to roll. So we’ll be first, we’ll open this thing up, we’ll sell it out, and be on our way. We’ll see what happens. I’m ready to go. I’d move this one if we could. I told everybody when this opened up that I would be first and we would go first and we will.”
White would like to get things rolling again with sell-out crowds within weeks. The first event that would make sense in that timeline would be UFC 260. That event features a heavyweight title bout between champion Stipe Miocic and Francis Ngannou on March 27. Beyond that would be UFC 261 headlined by a UFC Women’s Flyweight Championship bout with champion Valentina Shevchenko taking on Jéssica Andrade. Only time will tell when the UFC will get to sell out massive PPVs again, but one thing is for sure they would like to start doing so before the summer and the potential return of Conor McGregor.