Professional MMA organizations like the UFC and Bellator may have a new home for their events. It was announced yesterday by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis that professional sports are considered “essential services.” In a memo sent to NBC from state coordinating officer for the Florida Division of Emergency Management Jared Moskowitz, as to why it is deemed essential.
The memo explains that “Employees at a professional sports and media production with a national audience — including any athletes, entertainers, production team, executive team, media team and any others necessary to facilitate including services supporting such production — only if the location is closed to the general public.” Under this executive order by Governor DeSantis, professional sports have the assurance from Florida to hold events. The WWE as of Monday has started doing live shows in Florida at the WWE Performance Center. Before going live yesterday, WWE has been taping their live events in reaction to the Coronavirus pandemic.
The UFC was scheduled to have UFC 249 at the Tachi Palace in Lemmore, California on April 18. However, the Governor of California Gavin Newson urged Disney and ESPN to have the UFC cancel UFC 249 according to the New York Times. Disney and ESPN will have to approve of it, but the UFC can now hold events in Florida and be within the right to following Florida guidelines. As of now, all UFC events are postponed for the foreseeable future.
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Due to the ongoing safety concerns surrounding the COVID-19 outbreak, as well as current federal, state and local government mandates, Bellator MMA officials today have announced that three upcoming live events scheduled for May have been postponed. Refunds for ticketholders to these events, as well as Bellator 241 originally scheduled for March 13 at Mohegan Sun Arena, will be available at their original point of purchase.
Bellator had canceled all of their events from their event Bellator 241 on March 13 to Bellator 243 on May 29. The next Bellator event was scheduled to hold was Bellator 242 on May 9 in San Diego, California. The card was to feature a light heavyweight championship main event between Bellator light heavyweight champion and heavyweight champion Ryan Bader and Vadim Nemkov. Also on the card was a middleweight match-up between Gegard Mousasi and Douglas Lima for the vacant Bellator middleweight championship. After UFC 249, the UFC next event scheduled was UFC Fight Night 173, which would feature a main event between light heavyweights Anthony Smith and Glover Teixeira in Lincoln, Nebraska. The UFC and Bellator have yet to make an announcement following Governor DeSantis’s order ruling professional sports as “essential service.”