Dana White wants the UFC in Texas ASAP

Five states rolled back COVID-19 restrictions this week – Alabama, Iowa, Mississippi, Montana, and Texas. Since October The Lone Star State has allowed live MMA events with 50 percent capacity and other safety protocols mandated. But on Tuesday, Gov. Greg Abbot announced he would be opening the state “100 percent.”

While some public health experts have expressed alarm, at Thursday’s UFC 259 pre-fight press conference, UFC president Dana White said the league wants in, immediately.

“As soon as the governor of Texas said that, I called,” said White. “Dallas said no. I’m working on Houston. We’ll see if we can get Houston done. I want to go to Texas ASAP. I’ll go in the next two, three weeks. I’m ready to roll. We’ll be first. We’ll open this thing up. We’ll sell it out and be on our way.”

Later a reporter asked if Texas could host UFC 260 on March 27 or UFC 261 on April 24.

“Could be,” said White. “We’ll see what happens. I’m ready to go. I’d move this one if we could. I told everybody when this opened up that I would be first and we would go first. And we will.”

Both are pay-per-view events, headlined by the heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic vs. Francis Ngannou rematch in the case of the former, and in the second by women’s flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko vs. Jessica Andrade and women’s strawweight champion Zhang Weili vs. Rose Namajunas.

Quick-witted middleweight champ Israel Adesanya then used White’s remarks to jab Jon Jones, again.

“If I recall, they’ve moved a show before on like three days’ notice,” said Adesanya. “From Vegas to LA. I wonder why…”

The “why” was Jon Jones testing positive for picograms of turinabol just days prior to UFC 232, and the Nevada Athletic Commission declining to sanction the fight, so the entire event was moved to California, where the commission enjoys a fuller understanding of PED testing. Adesanya’s plan is to in time chase Jones up to heavyweight, but in the meantime, he will have his fists full with light heavyweight champion Jan Blachowicz in Saturday’s main event.

h/t  Nolan King and Ken Hathaway for MMA Junkie

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