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UFC planning May 9 return with UFC 250

UFC president Dana White (Credit: Getty Images)

Ultimate Fighting Championship president Dana White is continuing his plan to quickly resume the mixed martial arts property by ramping up efforts to stage UFC 250 on May 9 at an unconfirmed location.

The move comes after White was pressured by the most senior executives at both the Walt Disney Company and ESPN to call off UFC 249, which was scheduled for April 18 at the Tachi Palace Casino Resort near Fresno, California.

According to an ESPN report, White is building out a card for May 9, which was originally planned to be UFC 250 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, but was called off due to the global Covid-19 pandemic.

White has claimed he had secured a private island to potentially stage future fights. “The fight island is real…that’s really going to happen,” White told ESPN.

However, according to Variety, UFC 250 in May – as well as subsequent fight nights – could take place at UFC’s Apex facility in Las Vegas, Nevada.

“We built the Apex facility next door just in time to save the day from this pandemic,” White told Variety. “Live fights will be produced out of there starting next month and for the foreseeable future.”

According to the report, the current stay-at-home restrictions in Nevada could be lifted in the coming weeks, allowing for events to take place without live crowds. The Las Vegas Review-Journal also reports that three unnamed states are willing to host UFC 250.

White has been named as one of numerous US sports league commissioners and senior executives on a federal government committee who will advise president Donald Trump on lifting commercial and societal restrictions amid the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.