When Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis allowed WWE to hold live events with no fan attendance in his state recently, deeming the pro wrestling company an “essential business,” it opened the door, as we noted, for boxing and mixed martial arts to do the same. And it looks like we’re going to see that happen soon.
UFC will move ahead with its postponed UFC 249 card on May 9, and by all reports is headed to Florida.
The card was originally supposed to take place on April 18 in Brooklyn, but New York nixed that idea pretty quickly. Dana White then lined up a location in California, which was eventually axed by higher-ups at Disney and ESPN, UFC’s TV partner.
But the Florida ruling gives White the option to put this show on pretty quickly, and without his much-discussed FIGHT ISLAND scenario.
Boxing could soon follow suit, as Bob Arum has already said he’d be speaking with Vince McMahon, and possibly using WWE’s Performance Center training facility for boxing events. WWE has been running TV shows there, including the relocated WrestleMania 36. Arum also has other plans to move forward at Top Rank’s facilities in Nevada, if and when Nevada reopens to some degree, which seems like it could be close to happening.
The commissions, of course, have to go along with this. Florida’s commission says they’re ready, while Nevada has suspended all combat sports for the time being.