UFC president Dana White was ready to hold events at his Apex facility in Las Vegas from the minute the world started shutting down professional sports. He'll finally get to begin holding events there for the first time nearly two months after that the global pandemic shifted the world into crisis mode.
The first event at the Apex since the crisis began is UFC on ESPN 9, which takes place on Saturday. The event features former UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley squaring off with rising contender Gilbert Burns. The winner is likely to move into the thick of title talks, as we await champion Kamaru Usman's next opponent.
Woodley wasted no time making the bout official, as he was the first fighter to the scale at Friday's weigh-in. Burns waited until about 30-40 minutes into the two-hour weigh-in window to step on the scale. Each of them weighed 170.5 pounds for the five-round welterweight non-title main event.
Katlyn Chookagian and Antonina Shevchenko easily made weight for their pivotal flyweight bout, which is the feature fight on the UFC on ESPN 9 preliminary portion of the fight card.
Brok Weaver weighed in early during the proceedings, but was 1.5 pounds over the 156-pound limit for his lightweight non-title fight with Roosevelt Roberts. Though Weaver missed the mark, the two agreed to fight at 157.5 pounds with Weaver forfeiting 20-percent of his fight purse to Roberts.
The UFC kickstarted professional sports with three events over an eight-day span in Jacksonville, Fla., in early May. Those three events served as a blueprint for how to operate safely during the pandemic.
Since that time, the UFC has revised its COVID-19 protocols to some degree, and is now under the regulation of the Nevada State Athletic Commission, which has its own set of COVID-19 protocols that were approved on Wednesday. The protocols in place require the fighters to all wear masks while weighing in, although they were allowed to pull the mask down for a quick photo on scale if they so chose.
All fighters and other personnel were required to get a COVID-19 test prior to weigh-ins and will do so again on Saturday prior to the bouts taking place. There are also stricter quarantine protocols for fighters and other personnel in attendance for UFC on ESPN 9.
UFC on ESPN 9: Woodley vs. Burns Weigh-in Results
Main Card (9 pm ET on ESPN and ESPN+)
Tyron Woodley (170.5) vs Gilbert Burns (170.5)
Blagoy Ivanov (255.5) vs. Augusto Sakai (259.5)
Billy Quarantillo (149.5) vs. Spike Carlyle (150) – 150-pound catchweight bout
Roosevelt Roberts (156) vs. Brok Weaver (157.5)*
Mackenzie Dern (115.5) vs. Hannah Cifers (115.5)
Prelims (6 pm ET on ESPN and ESPN+)
Katlyn Chookagian (126) vs Antonina Shevchenko (125.5)
Daniel Rodriguez (170) vs. Gabe Green (170.5)
Jamahal Hill (205.5) vs. Klidson Abreu (206)
Tim Elliott (126) vs. Brandon Royval (125.5)
Louis Smolka (136) vs. Casey Kenney (136)
Chris Gutiérrez (145.5) vs. Vince Morales (145.5)
*Brok Weaver was 1.5 pounds overweight, he will forfeit 20-percent of fight purse to Roosevelt Roberts
Tyron Woodley and Gilbert Burns weigh-in for UFC on ESPN 9
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