Go with the Flo UFC set for return in Florida in May reports

It appears Dana White has found a location to host UFC 249 event on May 9, with multiple reports stating that Sunshine State Floirda has opened its doors to the return of mixed martial arts next month.

They have faced several setbacks along the way but the UFC appear to have finally nailed down a location for the fight card White has steadfastly refused to give up on, even in the face of a global pandemic.

Several people with knowledge of the situation told US website MMAFighting that an as-yet-unnamed venue in Florida will host the event which is to be headlined by Tony Ferguson vs. Justin Gaethje.

The specific location remains a mystery, but sources told the website that fighters have been alerted to fly into Jacksonville. 

This is the third location which has been tapped to hold the seemingly cursed fight card. It was initially intended to take place in Brooklyn, New York, on April 18 but was pulled from the region in the wake of the on-going coronavirus epidemic, where New York has been particularly hard hit.

White and the UFC next pushed for the event to take place on tribal land in California – and thus bypassing governmental restrictions put in place to limit the spread of Covid-19 – before the UFC dropped the plan at the eleventh hour following pressure from ESPN and Disney executives.

See y’all at UFC 249 May 9th somewhere on earth. Bout agreement signed. This shits happenin ?? pic.twitter.com/1vSg87eH4k

“Champ Shit Only™️” ?? B# Sharp Thanks?Hermano ????? # ? #ufc249pic.twitter.com/WfEfOpqi8A

The move to hold the card in Florida comes days after the state’s governor, Ron DeSantis, issued approval for the continuance of “essential businesses” in the sporting industry, such as the WWE.

The order said that events can go ahead behind closed doors so long as certain parameters are observed, allowing staff members to bypass coronavirus restrictions so long as they are “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.”

The Florida State Athletic Commission has confirmed that they are prepared to regulate combat sports events so long as these guidelines are adhered to. 

UFC 249 will be the first of what Dana White has described as ‘weekly’ fight cards. The destination of the upcoming events remains a mystery but White has mentioned the viability of his ‘Fight Island’ idea on more than one occasion and, given that the UFC applied for copyright protection on that term in recent days, it seems that the UFC is back in business.