The UFC APEX facility.

While most sports events have been canceled for the foreseeable future in the wake of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, a couple of upcoming UFC events and other big fights in Nevada remain up in the air for now, at least publicly. As Steven Maracco writes at MMA Fighting, the Nevada State Athletic Commission announced Saturday they were revoking fight permits statewide, but only through Wednesday, March 25. That would allow for both a Premier Boxing Champions Showtime card (headlined by Luis Nery versus Aaron Alameda at the Park MGM on March 28), a Top Rank event (headlined by Jerwin Ancajas versus Jonathan Javier Rodriguez at the Cosmopolitan on April 11), and two UFC events (at their own APEX facility (seen ab0ve), not open to fans, on March 28 and April 11) to take place. But there’s some uncertainty about that, with Mike Coppinger of The Athletic reporting earlier Saturday that the NSAC will suspend all combat sporting events “indefinitely,” including all of those cards:

NSAC executive director Bob Bennett later disputed Coppinger’s report in a statement to Maracco, saying no decision beyond March 25th has been officially made yet.

Bennett disputed that report in a statement to MMA Fighting, saying the decision hadn’t been “officially made to date.”

“I don’t know where they received that information,” Bennett wrote. “Our next commission meeting is March 25 and we will have factual information to share with you and the public. The chairman and commissioners will make that decision at the appropriate time.”

Per the commission, Bennett will make recommendations “for an appropriate response” to the virus “that observes the commission’s primary mandate to protect the health and safety of the public.”

For his part, though, Coppinger stood by his report in a couple of replies, and called the NSAC comments “procedural”:

It’s possible that the indefinite suspension has already been decided on but not yet announced, with that “officially made to date” language perhaps leaving some wiggle room. But with so many other events already cancelled, and with pressure building on organizations that haven’t yet announced cancellations, it would seem likely that the NSAC would announce an indefinite suspension if they’d already decided on that.

Of course, a lot can change in a couple of weeks. We saw this past week that plenty of organizations initially went from no-fans plans to full cancellations, including the NBA, the NCAA, and the PGA Tour. So it’s far from a sure thing that the boxing and UFC events here will actually go on as planned. (And it’s notable that the UFC events were already relocated to their Nevada facility thanks to coronavirus issues in Ohio and Oregon.) But it’s interesting that the NSAC isn’t willing to announce an indefinite suspension yet. We’ll see if that changes in the coming weeks, or if these fights will actually go ahead as scheduled.

[MMA Fighting; APEX photo from UFC.com]

About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz is a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. He previously worked at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.