Boxing, UFC back on in Las Vegas after Nevada approves return | NevadaAppeal.com
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Boxing, UFC back on in Las Vegas after Nevada approves return

By Greg Beacham AP Sports Writer
FILE - In this Feb. 22, 2020, file photo, Tyson Fury, of England, lands a right to Deontay Wilder, left, during a WBC heavyweight championship boxing match in Las Vegas. Boxing promoter Bob Arum says he plans to stage a card of five fights on June 9 at the MGM Grand. It's the first of a series of fights over the next two months at the Las Vegas hotel. A second fight card will be held two nights later. ESPN will televise both cards to kick off twice weekly shows at the hotel in June and July. The fights are pending approval of the Nevada Athletic Commission.
AP Photo/Isaac Brekken

Mixed martial arts and boxing are back in business in Nevada.

The Nevada Athletic Commission unanimously agreed during a teleconference Wednesday to allow two UFC events and two Top Rank boxing shows in Las Vegas over the next two weeks.

The decision ends the moratorium on combat sports that has been in place in Nevada since March 14, when the commission stopped competition amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The UFC immediately confirmed its plans to stage a show without fans in attendance Saturday night at the UFC Apex arena on its expansive corporate complex in Las Vegas, followed by the UFC 250 pay-per-view show at the same place June 6.

Top Rank is expected to hold boxing shows at the MGM Grand on June 9 and June 11.

Citing the importance of sports to the state’s economy and morale, Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak announced Tuesday night that sporting events could return if promoters followed health rules approved by the appropriate authorities.

The commission on Wednesday approved stringent coronavirus safety protocols to accompany the return of combat sports to their hometown. The UFC and Top Rank have worked closely with the commission in recent weeks to create the protocols, according to Bob Bennett, the commission’s executive director.

The UFC staged three shows in Jacksonville, Florida, earlier this month while waiting to get approval from the Nevada commission to return to its hometown. The UFC is expected to stage several domestic cards in Las Vegas over the upcoming weeks, and President Dana White still intends to hold other shows on a private island for fighters not based in the U.S.

The UFC show Saturday will be headlined by former welterweight champion Tyron Woodley facing Gilbert Burns.

The main event of UFC 250 on June 6 features dominant two-division champion Amanda Nunes defending her featherweight belt against Canadian challenger Felicia Spencer.