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Dana White has been a busy man in the previous few weeks, and it seems like that development will proceed because the UFC heads into the summer time.
The group returned to motion after the COVID-19 pandemic introduced an finish to fights for some time. It placed on three totally different occasions in a single week in Jacksonville, Florida, and now UFC is about to department out past Florida.
The UFC president spoke with ESPN on a variety of sizzling subjects within the MMA world on Friday and shed some mild on a number of developments that might form the upcoming combat calendar.
Here is a fast rundown of the boss’ phrase on all the things from the UFC card set to go down subsequent Saturday, a possible Jon Jones and Francis Ngannou combat and “Battle Island.”
Jones vs. Ngannou Not Doubtless
There have been loads of fights the UFC has made that began off as a Twitter beef. In response to Dana White, a heavyweight blockbuster between Jon Jones and Francis Ngannou is not going to be considered one of them.
Jones and Ngannou have had a rapidly escalating confrontation on social media that fanned the flames of the concept that the sunshine heavyweight kingpin might transfer as much as heavyweight within the close to future. Not solely would he be shifting up, however he would even be taking over one of the vital feared strikers within the sport.
Nevertheless, regardless of the confrontation, White would not see the combat taking place:
Jones has publicly talked concerning the thought of shifting as much as heavyweight to combat The Predator. Nevertheless, he rapidly turned his crosshairs on the UFC itself, stating his frustration the group was “unwilling to pay extra” for shifting as much as heavyweight and preventing Ngannou.
After hinting that he could also be taking a while away from the game, he backtracked on the concept and steered Jan Blachowicz—a light-weight heavyweight challenger—may very well be subsequent.
Jones’ reign over the sunshine heavyweight division has been as dominant a run as any within the UFC, however Dominick Reyes was capable of give him his hardest take a look at so far final trip. So even when the Ngannou superfight would not occur, it is notable that Jones known as out Blachowicz as the subsequent challenger in his native division.
Battle Island Might Be Up-and-Working by June
When the UFC was desperately making an attempt to drag off UFC 249 amid the coronavirus pandemic, Dana White launched the concept of Battle Island: A non-public island owned by the UFC that will permit the corporate to placed on fights whereas the remainder of the sports activities world was shutdown.
Since then, the group has discovered a option to placed on some playing cards in the USA. UFC 249 and two others have already gone down with one other card deliberate for subsequent Saturday. Nevertheless, that hasn’t ended the concept of Battle Island.
The UFC president stated the group is wanting towards June and that he’ll stay on the island for the month of July as the corporate seems to utilize the ability at an undisclosed location:
This appears weird even by UFC requirements, however White hasn’t backed down from the island’s existence because it was first introduced up. With worldwide journey persevering with to be a difficulty, the island would ostensibly make it simpler for fighters to journey to a non-public island and keep remoted lengthy sufficient to compete.
If Battle Island exists and is operational, it’s going to make the UFC’s hopes of a busy summer time far more life like.
Full Could 30 Occasion Lineup Introduced
Particularly, an occasion for Could 30 was introduced simply weeks earlier than it was set to go off, and the president lastly revealed the complete lineup of fights to ESPN:
The primary card is headlined by a welterweight combat between Tyron Woodley and Gilbert Burns. It is an essential combat within the division as a result of a loss for Woodley would seemingly take him removed from the title image. He is only one combat faraway from his championship reign being ended by Kamaru Usman, however his fashion did not do him any favors within the reserving division.
Burns is an attention-grabbing opponent as he has defeated Demian Maia and Gunnar Nelson in his final two fights and boasts a five-fight win streak.
Elsewhere on the cardboard, a girls’s flyweight combat between Katlyn Chookagian and Antonina Shevchenko headlines the prelim lineup. Chookagian can be coming off a loss in a title combat. She was crushed by third-round TKO in February because the challenger to Valentina Shevchenko’s crown.
Antonina is the older sister of the champion however hasn’t skilled the identical success within the Octagon. She’s 2-1 in her UFC profession and 8-1 as an expert.
It is a card that is not killer by any means, however it’s pretty spectacular given the period of time the corporate needed to put it collectively.