White: UFC 'a go' for Las Vegas on May 30

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A UFC card on May 30 in Las Vegas is "a go," UFC president Dana White texted to the Las Vegas Review-Journal early Wednesday.

The event, headlined by former welterweight champion Tyron Woodley opposing Gilbert Burns, would be held at UFC's Apex facility with no fans in attendance.

According to the newspaper, the card had not yet received the necessary approval from the Nevada Athletic Commission.

The event would be the UFC's first since a series of three cards May 9-16 in Jacksonville, Fla., all held without fans present due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak's office replied Wednesday to a query from MMAfighting.com regarding the proposed May 30 event: "As stated last week, the Governor's Office is working with the Local Empowerment Advisory Panel (LEAP), state agencies, local leaders, public health experts and the business community to continue developing guidelines for the potential Phase 2 reopening.

"As a reminder, at this time, the State of Nevada is still evaluating the data since Phase 1 reopening began on May 9."

When UFC 249 was forced to abandon its scheduled April 18 date in New York due to that area's severe COVID-19 outbreak, White initially floated the idea of moving the card to the UFC's Las Vegas facility. However, Nevada's shutdown ended that possibility.

White then discussed hosting bouts on a privately owned "Fight Island," and he also attempted to move UFC 249 to tribal land in central California. He finally settled on Jacksonville after Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis' administration deemed sports an essential business that could continue amid the pandemic.

The three Jacksonville cards had fighters and their entourages quarantined at a local hotel. Middleweight Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza was scratched from UFC 249 when he and two of his cornermen tested positive for the coronavirus, but the event proceeded as planned.

Woodley, a 38-year-old who fights out of St. Louis, has a 19-4-1 record. In his most recent bout, he dropped a unanimous decision to Kamaru Usman at UFC 235 in March 2019.

Burns, a 33-year-old Brazilian who fights out of Lantana, Fla., owns an 18-3 career mark. He has won each of his past five fights, mostly recently a technical knockout of Demian Maia in March 2020.

Aside from May 30, the only other upcoming date currently listed on the UFC's website is June 6, when a card is scheduled to be topped by a bout between featherweight champion Amanda Nunes and Felicia Spencer. The Review-Journal reported that the June 6 event is likely to be held at the same site as the May 30 event.

--Field Level Media