The UFC may be back soon. Dana White was forced to cancel UFC 249, and postponed all subsequent events indefinitely due to restrictions caused by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
However, the promotion is now eying a May 9 return.
MMA Junkie confirmed the UFC’s considered plans with a person with knowledge of the situation, and MMA Fighting was the first to report the plans.
Dana White is looking to rebook various big fights that were delayed by the schedule change, including Tony Ferguson vs. Justin Gaethje (originally set to headline UFC 249), Henry Cejudo vs. Dominick Cruz (originally in the works to headline UFC 250), Amanda Nunes vs. Felicia Spencer (originally set to co-headline UFC 250), and Francis Ngannou vs. Jairzinho Rozenstruik (originally set to headline UFC on ESPN 8).
Upon announcing the cancellation and postponements, White promised the UFC would be the first sporting organization to return to normalcy.
Prior to the announcement of postponements, the UFC had 11 events publicly on tap: UFC 249 (April 18 in Lemore, Calif.), UFC on ESPN+ 31 (April 25 in Lemore, Calif.), UFC on ESPN+ 32 (May 2 in Lemore, Calif.), UFC 250 (May 9 at Location TBD), UFC on ESPN+ 33 (May 16 in San Diego), UFC 251 (June 6 in Perth, Australia), UFC Kazakhstan (June 13 in Nur-Sultan, Kazakstan), UFC Saskatoon (June 20 in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada), UFC Austin (June 27 in Austin, Texas), UFC 252 (July 11 in Las Vegas), and UFC Dublin (Aug. 15 in Dublin, Ireland).
According to ESPN, the proposed May 9 event includes the following lineup:
Tony Ferguson vs. Justin Gaethje – for interim lightweight title Champ Henry Cejudo vs. Dominick Cruz – for bantamweight title Champ Amanda Nunes vs. Felicia Spencer – for women’s featherweight title Francis Ngannou vs. Jairzinho Rozenstruik Calvin Kattar vs. Jeremy Stephens Donald Cerrone vs. Anthony Pettis Yorgan De Castro vs. Greg Hardy Aleksei Oleinik vs. Fabricio Werdum Carla Esparza vs. Michelle Waterson Uriah Hall vs. Ronaldo Souza Vicente Luque vs. Niko Price Bryce Mitchell vs. Charles Rosa