If Dana White has his way, the UFC will be returning home to the UFC APEX in Las Vegas, Nevada for its scheduled show on May 30.
White made the declaration in a statement to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, saying that the event was “a go on the 30th.” A welterweight bout between Gilbert Burns and Tyron Woodley is scheduled to headline the card.
The big problem, of course, is that Nevada still hasn’t lifted its emergency ban on combat sports, which was instated on March 14 as a response to try to slow the spread of COVID-19. The governor’s office released a statement to both the Review-Journal and MMA Fighting stating that, “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.”
The UFC plans to host the event without spectators as it’s done for its past few events. There have been no official statements released from the governor’s office regarding whether spectatorless events would be allowed to move forward in a Phase 2 opening plan. Should the Las Vegas location not work out, White says that he plans to move the event to Arizona instead.
Burns is riding a five-fight winning streak, his last bout being a round-one TKO victory against Demian Maia in mid-March. Burns is also an accomplished grappler, winning IBJJF Worlds in 2011 and the World Pro the year before. Woodley also holds a victory over the impressive Maia, but his own winning streak was broken by a close loss to Kamaru Usman in the beginning of March.
UFC Fight Night 172 is scheduled to take place on Saturday, May 30.