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Nevada Athletic Commission to discuss return of combat sports

Nevada appears poised to welcome sports back to the state.

The Nevada Athletic Commission has scheduled a May 27 meeting to discuss the possibility of mixed martial arts and boxing events taking place in Las Vegas over the next few weeks.

UFC president Dana White has indicated the organization will host an event at its Apex Facility in southwest Las Vegas just three days later on May 30, pending final approval at the meeting.

The UFC has also requested a June 6 date at the facility. Top Rank Boxing has requested June 9 and June 11 for shows at the MGM Grand.

All shows would be held without fans and subject to stringent protocols.

The meeting, which will be the first for the NAC since it suspended combat sports in Nevada on March 14, will take place by teleconference at 9 a.m. There will be a public comment session.

Top Rank CEO Bob Arum has said the promotion plans to do two events per week in Las Vegas through July.

“Once we get those fights in and UFC gets its initial fights in, both of us will ask for additional dates,” Arum told The Associated Press. “The key was getting enough testing, and we’ve got plenty of testing in Nevada to hold our events.”

Both promoters have disclosed detailed safety plans to the commission, but the NAC has been working on its own testing procedures and safety protocols that are expected to be detailed at the meeting.

The UFC has already held three live events this month, the first since the coronavirus pandemic shut down the sports world.

Each of the three fight cards took place in Jacksonville, Florida. One fighter and his two cornermen tested positive for coronavirus and they were removed from the premises before the event.

White plans to resume a regular schedule of near-weekly events at its facility and still intends to bring international fighters to an undisclosed location he has deemed “Fight Island” at some point this summer.

The May 30 UFC card will be headlined by a welterweight bout between Gilbert Burns and former champion Tyron Woodley. Arum has not yet announced a main event for the June 9 card.

Contact Adam Hill at ahill@reviewjournal.com. Follow @AdamHillLVRJ on Twitter.

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