UFC’s Return To MSG? Maybe
It appears that the UFC’s return to MSG is upon us. Or is it? ESPN first cracked the news from UFC President Dana White, that the target is November 6th for UFC 268. That falls just a week shy of the UFC’s 5-year anniversary of their first time in New York being UFC 205 on November 12, 2016.
But Dana White has also said other things. Most notably; “I’m not going into a building that can’t be at 100% capacity”. And that’s not the case right now in New York. And with worries rising about the Delta variant, possible new shut downs, mask mandates, etc; it appears this call is coming from a higher power than White himself. Right now in New York, it’s not full capacity, unless you have proof of vaccination. Otherwise it’s 50% capacity; as well as mask mandates. So is White truly not the puppet master fans have thought he was? Perhaps it’s ownership calling this shot.
Just like when the UFC first tried to comeback from the Coronavirus stoppage, California politics got in the way and shut them down. That in effect sent the company to Abu-Dhabi. With the mid-terms, and politicians fighting for their own futures again, will history repeat itself on the East Coast this time? Guess only God knows that answer.
A Return Has To Be Huge
Although nothing is final just yet, the company and it’s ESPN partner knows a return to the Big Apple has to be big enough for the big marquee. And word is trickling down that both fighters have finally signed bout agreements. The targeted main event is a massive much anticipated rematch. Since his broken jaw recovery from champion Kamaru Usman,
Colby-Covington has been calling for his rematch. He’s been sitting as the number-one-contender almost straight through then. And Usman has dispatched his two-opponents since that night (Jorge Masvidal twice, and Gilbert Burns). The decision has to leave Stephen Thompson and Leon Edwards scratching their heads on when AND IF they’ll get their shots at the strap.
There’s no denying whether you like his away from the cage persona or not, Covington has the best gas tank in the division, if not the UFC as a whole. Usman, especially now with Trevor Wittman has come into his own, and is streaking. Although no other names have been attached to UFC 268 just yet, that should be just about the time table like Charles Oliveira, and Rose Namajunas.
Just imagine 5-year anniversary, with a three-title fight pay-per-view.