Live MMA and Boxing events return to Las Vegas for the first time since Nevada casinos were ordered closed in March to help slow the spread of coronavirus.
The day after Gov. Steve Sisolak told shared his Phase 2 reopening plan, the Nevada Athletic Commission (NAC) approved dates for both Top Rank Boxing and UFC to host matches in Las Vegas.
So long Florida, UFC returns home
The UFC will return to its Las Vegas home and will hold its next fight card at the UFC Apex on Saturday, May 30.
The NAC regulates all combat sports taking place in Nevada. On Wednesday, the group approved the first MMA events to take place in the Silver State since March.
In March, Dana White took his UFC cards to Jacksonville, Florida. This was the only state willing to open up for fights as coronavirus was spreading across the nation.
Now that gyms and more businesses are reopening in Nevada, the state is ready to welcome back live sports. Much like the UFC cards in Florida, there won’t be fans in attendance for the fights in Nevada.
Prelims for UFC Fight Night on Saturday begin at 3 p.m. local time and can be seen on ESPN and ESPN+. The main card begins at 6 p.m. and is also on ESPN and ESPN+.
The main event is a welterweight battle featuring former 170-pound champion Tyron Woodley taking on Gilbert Burns. The co-main event features a heavyweight battle between Blagoy Ivanov and Augusto Sakai.
UFC betting on NV sports betting apps
There are only a handful of Nevada sports betting apps open for business before casinos reopen on June 4. Below are the fight odds and round totals from William Hill.
It always pays to shop around for the best odds.
Full fight odds and prop bets also available on the following NV mobile betting apps:
- South Point
- Circa Sports
This is the first UFC card planned for Las Vegas. The NAC also approved the UFC to host another event on June 6. The company plans to host more events at UFC Apex on three consecutive Saturdays in June, the 13th, 20th, and 27th.
Those dates above have not been approved by NAC yet.
Top Rank Boxing returns to Las Vegas
The NAC also approved Top Rank Boxing to host two events during a virtual hearing on Wednesday. Top Rank will produce boxing cards to take place at MGM Grand on June 9 and June 11. ESPN will air both nights of boxing.
The June 9 card will be headlined by Shakur Stevenson (13-0, 7 KOs). He was a 2016 Olympic silver medalist and is currently the unbeaten WBO featherweight champion.
He’s expected to fight Felix Caraballo (13-1-2, 9 KOs) from Puerto Rico in a 10-round, non-title junior lightweight fight
The June 11 card will feature Las Vegas’ own Jessie Magdaleno (27-1, 18 KOs) and Yenifel Vicente (36-4-2, 28 KOs, 1 NC) from the Dominican Republic in a 10-round fight at a catchweight of 128 pounds.
Top Rank Boxing will post full card details closer to the respective fight nights.
Much like the UFC, Top Rank would like to host more fights in Las Vegas on the following dates in June:
- Tuesday, June 16
- Thursday, June 18
- Tuesday, June 23
- Thursday, June 25
- Tuesday, June 30
The NAC is aware of this request but this wasn’t on the agenda for approval this week. Expect the NAC to approve more events if all of the MMA and boxing matches go off without a hitch.
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