The UFC went eight weeks with out an occasion — March 14 to Could 9 — due to the coronavirus pandemic. Now it is time for the group‘s second stay card in simply 5 days.
UFC 249 felt like a breath of contemporary air for the sports activities world. And it could be arduous to argue the cardboard did not ship, with unbelievable performances from Justin Gaethje, Henry Cejudo and Francis Ngannou, to call just a few. A second group of athletes from the across the nation has already stepped on the size in Jacksonville, Florida, and can try and proceed that momentum at UFC Combat Evening on Wednesday, as soon as once more at VyStar Veterans Memorial Enviornment.
Two former gentle heavyweight title challengers, Anthony Smith (32-14) and Glover Teixeira (30-7), will meet within the headliner. The occasion will air on ESPN+, with the primary card beginning at 9 p.m. ET and the prelims at 6.
This combat was initially presupposed to happen on April 25 in Smith’s house state of Nebraska. Smith has emotional ties to the world and lives an hour away from Lincoln, the place the combat was to be held. He has fought there solely as soon as prior to now seven years.
Smith was in Nebraska in 2016 when he beat Josh Neer at a regional occasion and threw on a hat that mentioned, “Name me, Dana.” That resulted in him signing with Dana White and the UFC, and at last maximizing his potential greater than 30 bouts into his skilled profession. Smith was a late bloomer in MMA, however prior to now 4 years he has gone 8-2 contained in the Octagon. In 2019, he challenged Jon Jones for the championship.
Regardless of having practically 50 skilled bouts to his identify, Smith, 31, remains to be in his prime and doubtlessly not far off from one other crack on the UFC title. It is a completely different story for Teixeira, whose problem of Jones was again in 2014. Teixeira is 40 and may very well be his closing probability at a title run. He does have a great factor going, nonetheless, with a string of wins over Karl Roberson, Ion Cutelaba and Nikita Krylov.
Whoever wins on Wednesday will probably want no less than yet another victory earlier than vying for a title once more, however that is one other step in that hunt. And the combat itself will hold the return of the sports activities world in movement.