Sports Business : Top Rank Boxing and UFC plans return as Las Vegas open up

Boxing and mixed martial arts will return to Las Vegas with Nevada officials lifting a ban on combat sports imposed during the coronavirus pandemic.

Tyson Fury’s memorable WBC heavyweight title win over Deontay Wilder was among the final contests held in the state with the Nevada Athletic Commission suspending combat sports on March 14.

But the commission unanimously agreed on Wednesday to allow two UFC events and two Top Rank boxing shows in Las Vegas over the next two weeks.

Events will be held behind closed doors with no fans present as part of ongoing efforts to halt the spread of Covid-19.

UFC have confirmed their return to Vegas this Saturday with Tyron Woodley – who was originally slated to headline UFC London against Leon Edwards in March until the event was cancelled – taking on Gilbert Burns at the promotion’s Apex facility.

“Throughout this process, we’ve been working hand in glove with the UFC,” Bob Bennett, the commission’s executive director said. “I’m aware of their operations plan, and everything is moving forward based on their operations plan and our protocols.”

Associated Press report Top Rank is expected to hold boxing shows at the MGM Grand on June 9 and June 11.

WBO featherweight champion Shakur Stevenson is expected to compete on the first show.