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UFC 249 headed to Jacksonville arena

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VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena will host the event on May 9.

NCAA Basketball Tournament - First Round - Jacksonville Photo by Matt Marriott/NCAA Photos via Getty Images

The much-discussed UFC 249, which was postponed from April 18 until May 9, is set to take place in Jacksonville, Florida, at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena.

The arena, which is home to various local sports teams including the ECHL’s Jacksonville Icemen and the NAL’s Jacksonville Sharks, is a 15,000-seat venue. An arena of that size certainly isn’t necessary to host an empty building show without fans, but it could potentially help with social distancing, too, with enough room for the various fighters and their camps to totally stay out of the way of others backstage.

UFC was set to go ahead with this show on April 18 at Tachi Palace in California, but a request from their TV partners at Disney/ESPN saw the show postponed that week. UFC’s Dana White has been completely determined to keep their shows running, and has his “Fight Island” idea coming together for June, reportedly, which will make it possible to bring in fighters from outside the United States.

Florida recently made big and controversial news when the state allowed WWE to operate as an “essential business” in their Orlando Performance Center, keeping their three weekly TV programs running, now once again airing live. This opened the door for UFC, and the door is also open for boxing. Nobody in boxing has made any direct moves just yet, but Bob Arum of Top Rank has considered working with WWE’s Vince McMahon, though more recently Arum seems to have shifted his idea to getting fights running in June in either Nevada, California, or Texas.