Barring unforeseen twists of fate, the UFC will return to action on 10/05/20 Australian time.
Accounting for all possible eventualities, the odds of the event proceeding are probably about 50/50. If it does take place this fight card will be a huge accomplishment for UFC supremo Dana White, who has refused to lay off staff during the lockdown and has worked tirelessly to get his fighters back into the ring. MMA has a huge advantage over team sports in the current climate of fear and paranoia.
The only personnel required to stage a world-class UFC event are the combatants, a referee, three judges, three commentators, and the necessary camera operators. Live fights can be beamed across the globe, and be watched by millions of idle sports fans who have resorted to betting on Esports and marble races during the current lockdown.
The card is an impressive one, with big named fighters from top to bottom. Cowboy Cerrone and Anthony Pettis are no strangers to main event fights but find themselves way down in the prelims. Heavyweight beast and knockout machine Francis Ngannou also has the star power to fight atop a card and is positioned three fights below the main event.
Two belts will be on the line, Dominick Cruz will attempt to take the bantamweight belt from the most annoying man on the UFC roster, Henry Cejudo, and Tony Ferguson will battle Gustin Gaethje for the interim lightweight belt. The bantamweight fight should be an enthralling affair, as it pits Cruz, the sport’s sharpest tactician against one of its most skilled athletes. Cruz’s analysis of the fighting game is legendary, but he has suffered a litany of physical ailments across his career, and it will be very interesting to see how he handles the physical attributes of champion Cejudo.
The lightweight title bout also promises to be a colourful encounter. Tony Ferguson is an eccentric figure who kicks solid steel rods as part of his training routine and believes himself to be some kind of super-human. He’s as tough as nails, dangerous on the ground and of the feet, and refuses to take a backward step. Gaethje is a game and dangerous competitor, who possesses real knockout power and presents as a serious threat. Since tightening his previously leaky defense, Gaethje has strung together an impressive run of victories and has definitely earned his shot at glory. Waiting for the winner is a date with the Dagestani warrior, Khabib Nurmagomedov.
Other intriguing bouts include Uriah Hall versus Jacare Souza, and the aforementioned Francis Ngannou, who takes on fellow monster, the undefeated Jairzinho Rozenstruik. The card is stacked top to bottom and will be well worth the investment required. Sports fans of all stripes are presently starved for action, and if the UFC can return before all other major codes, and get its Fight Island up and running, it will secure a huge increase in market share.