On Saturday, the Nevada State Athletic Commission held an emergency meeting to address the coronavirus outbreak that has resulted in the cancellation or postponement of sporting events all over the world. During the meeting the NSAC voted to suspend all combat sports in the Nevada until March 25, when it will reconvene to vote on the status of events in the state going forward.
That will directly affect UFC business in the coming weeks. The promotion recently announced that it would relocate UFC on ESPN 8, originally set for Columbus, Ohio, on March 28 and UFC Fight Night 172, originally scheduled for Portland, Ore., on April 11 to the UFC Apex in Las Vegas on those same dates. Both events are expected to be held in a largely empty venue with the exception of fighter corners, UFC staff and other officials. No fans will be allowed to attend.
However, that will now hinge on the ruling of the NSAC. Executive director Bob Bennett issued a brief statement to ESPN regarding the situation.
"I've been in constant contact with a litany of doctors and medical professionals and am intimately familiar with all professional and amateur sports events being suspended at this point in time for an undetermined period," Bennett said. "I will continue to collect information and speak with various medical experts and be prepared to provide the information to the chairman and commissioners on March 25.”
While many other sports organizations — including the NBA, NHL, NCAA and MLB — suspended play in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, the UFC went forward with its event in Brasilia on Saturday. All 12 bouts at UFC Fight Night 172 were contested at Nilson Nelson Gymnasium with no fans allowed attend. UFC president Dana White recently said that next week’s London event is still expected to proceed as planned, although that could change as the U.K. updates its policy on dealing with the virus.