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UFC becomes first major professional sports event to return in the U.S

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May 10, 2020 | 06:19

The UFC is set to become the first major professional sport to return in the United States since the COVID-19 pandemic shut things down back in March

UFC becomes first major professional sports event to return in the U.S
UFC becomes first major professional sports event to return in the U.S.

“I wanted to keep right on going; we’ll figure this thing out,” White told Sports Illustrated. “If this thing is that deadly, it’s gonna get us no matter where we hide or what we do.”

Ferguson vs. Gaethje and Cejudo vs. Dominick Cruz will serve as the co-main events, which will close out the main card starting at 10 p.m. ET.

Here are the rest of the UFC 249 main card fights, along with the odds for each, courtesy of William Hill Sportsbook.

FAVORITE UNDERDOG WEIGHTCLASS
Tony Ferguson -190 Justin Gaethje +160 Interim lightweight title
Henry Cejudo -220 Dominick Cruz +180 Bantamweight title
Francis Ngannou -280 Jairzinho Rozenstruik +230 Heavyweight
Calvin Kattar -240 Jeremy Stephens +200 Featherweight
Greg Hardy -195 Yorgan De Castro +165 Heavyweight

The price for the pay-per-view will be $64.99.

Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza was also scheduled to fight Uriah Hall, but was pulled from the event after testing positive for the coronavirus on Friday.

“UFC’s medical team examined Souza and his two cornermen and found them to be currently asymptomatic, or not exhibiting the common symptoms of COVID-19,” the promotion said in a statement. “As per UFC’s health and safety protocols, all three men have left the host hotel and will be self-isolating off premises, where UFC’s medical team will monitor their conditions remotely and will provide assistance with any necessary treatment.”

After testing the other 23 other athletes scheduled to compete at UFC 249 – all negative results – UFC officials decided to move forward with the event after conferring with the Florida State Boxing Commission.

Leading up to the main card will be six prelims, which will air on ESPN starting as early as 6:30 p.m. ET. In total, there will be 11 total fights for your viewing pleasure.

MMA fighter's positive test hours before live UFC return

UFC 249 was shaping up to be one of the first mainstream live sporting events since the outbreak of the coronavirus, but all that has been thrown into doubt just a day before the event.

Ronaldo ‘J’acare’ Souza, tested positive for the coronavirus just over 24 hours before the first fight was scheduled to get underway." data-reactid="24" type="text">One of the fighters, light heavyweight brawler Ronaldo ‘J’acare’ Souza, tested positive for the coronavirus just over 24 hours before the first fight was scheduled to get underway.

UFC president Dana White has continually insisted he will host fights amid the COVID-19 pandemic, which has claimed the lives of nearly 80,000 Americans and infected more than 1.2 million.

Souza has been ruled out of the event, but the rest of the UFC 249 card will proceed as planned in Jacksonville, Florida.

The Brazilian fighter had been training in Orlando, just over 200km away from Jacksonville.

When he arrived at the Jacksonville venue, Souza informed officials a member of his family had tested positive for the coronavirus.

Souza was then tested and reportedly isolated, though he weighed in and appeared in pictures with UFC president Dana White on Friday before his positive test came back. Souza was wearing gloves and a mask during his weigh-in and faceoff.

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