'Terrible idea': UFC ripped after stunning crowd call amid virus havoc

Riley Morgan
·Sports Reporter
·3-min read
UFC boss Dana White (pictured) points as he answers a question at a press conference.
UFC boss Dana White (pictured) has announced UFC 261 will take place in front of a full crowd in Florida. (Getty Images)

The UFC boss Dana White has stunned the general public after announcing UFC 261 would be staged in front of a full crowd in the US.

White had previously mentioned he wanted to be the first sport to trail-blaze the move back to normality in the US and stunned fans announcing the rematch between Kamaru Usman and Jorge Masvidal would headline the event.

But the biggest talking point was the announcement UFC 261 would be in front of a packed crowd in Florida.

"I have been waiting a year for this day to tell you, we are back," White said.

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"UFC 261 on April 24th will be in Jacksonville, Florida, with a full house of fans. Full capacity."

The announcement comes as the US attempts to roll out the vaccine after more than 29 million Covid-19 cases, which has resulted in more than 535,000 deaths.

A huge amount of US fans were excited to see a sports event taking place in front of a crowd, expected to be 15,000, after more than a year.

While others were equally critical of White for the move during a global pandemic.

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UFC to allow full crowd

UFC 261 will mark a return for the promotion to Jacksonville, which hosted the first three UFC events after a two-month shutdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic last year. 

This won't be the first time fans are allowed back into UFC events, as spectators were allowed into three events at Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi back in January.

"I just want to say thank you Jacksonville, I love you guys and we will see you soon," White said.

White added that the event will feature three title fights: a rematch between welterweight champion Usman and Masvidal, women's strawweight champion Zhang Weili's defense against Rose Namajunas and women's flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko against Jessica Andrade.

Usman defeated Masvidal by unanimous decision at UFC 251 in July, though Masvidal agreed to the fight on only a week's notice after Gilbert Burns tested positive for COVID-19.

with Jack Baer - Yahoo US Sport

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