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UFC fights scheduled for May 30 could move to Arizona, Dana White says

UFC president Dana White (AP Photo/Julio Cortez, File)

If the state of Nevada does not lift an indefinite ban on combat sports, a May 30 UFC event planned to take place at the Apex facility in Las Vegas will move to Arizona, UFC president Dana White told reporters.

“That’s where I’ll go. That’s 100% where I’ll go,” White said during a post-fight press conference Saturday.

“If we can’t get May 30 at the Apex, it’s gonna be super disappointing, but we will go somewhere else.”

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey announced last Tuesday that major league sports could return in the state after Friday, given they follow CDC guidelines to protect public health. That made Arizona one of the first states to formally welcome professional sports to take place, even without fans in attendance.

“We have had discussions with leaders of some of these leagues and they all know they are welcome to operate, play and perform in the state of Arizona,” Ducey said Tuesday.

The announcement came three days before the state’s stay-at-home order expired Friday and Arizona entered the first phase of reopening.

UFC has held three events since the coronavirus led to mass suspensions of play and cancellations in the sports world. Its latest event on Saturday came in Florida, which as a state followed Arizona in reopening itself to professional sports.

Gila River Arena, the home of the Arizona Coyotes, could be an option to host the scheduled May 30 event with the Phoenix Suns’ home at Talking Stick Resort Arena currently under construction.

In the last UFC event in Arizona, Francis Ngannou defeated Cain Velasquez on Feb. 17, 2019, at Phoenix’s Talking Stick Resort Arena.

Glendale’s Gila River Arena hosted Dustin Poirier and Justin Gaethje in April 2018.