What I hear: The UFC will return this Saturday after an almost two-month hiatus and Mike Bohn of MMAJunkie explains some of the security measures that will be put in place.
As many states begin to ease restrictions on home stay, the world of sports is also slowly opening up. This weekend, a handful of sporting events are taking place in the United States that you can watch on TV or online via livestream.
NBA teams are just starting to open training facilities for individual training and a few Major League Soccer teams returned to the field on Wednesday – limited to one player per quadrant – for voluntary training. The two professional sports leagues have strict health and safety protocols in place, and many teams are still awaiting approval from government officials to reopen their facilities.
Here is an overview of the competitions taking place this weekend in the United States:
UFC returns to Jacksonville
After a hiatus of almost two months due to the coronavirus pandemic, the UFC returns to action on Saturday with UFC 249, which takes place at the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida, with a main card which is broadcast à la carte after the preliminaries on ESPN and ESPN +.
A double title of champion is at the top of the map. Tony Ferguson (25-3 MMA, 15-1 UFC) meets Justin Gaethje (21-2 MMA, 4-2 UFC) for interim light gold in the main tournament, while Henry Cejudo (15-2 MMA, 9- 2 UFC) puts his bantamweight belt against Dominick Cruz (22-2 MMA, 5-1 UFC) in the co-star.
UFC officials have implemented several safety protocols, including tests on all athletes and others involved in UFC 249, and they are working with the Florida State Boxing Commission to regulate the event. However, a letter to athletes regarding safety protocols did not indicate how often an athlete will be tested for COVID-19, how long it will take for the results to be received, or what specific type of test will be performed. ESPN said the fighters will receive a swab diagnostic test for coronavirus, as well as an antibody test.
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Young tennis stars back in action
Men’s tennis is back with four young stars competing on private court in West Palm Beach, Florida.
The UTR Pro Match Series, a three-day round robin, begins Friday at noon ET and stars Reilly Opelka, the third American and 39th on the ATP world tour, with American Tommy Paul (# 57) worldwide), the Polish Hubert Hurkacz (n ° 29) and Miomir Kecmanovic of Serbia (n ° 47).
No spectators will be allowed and there will be no ball children, no linesmen and no handshakes. The round robin event will take place at an undisclosed location. A single chair umpire will supervise the match.
Each player will receive their own set of marked balls to use during the match and players will bring their own drinks and towels.
Daily live coverage on the Tennis Channel begins at noon ET and will last three hours. In the first two days, all competitors will compete in the first to four games, the best of three. The advertising score is at stake, with a tiebreaker played at 3-3.
On the last day, a match for third place, followed by the championship match, will be played in the best of three sets. A 10-point tiebreaker will decide the third sets contested.
Kyle Larson was suspended by NASCAR for using a racial slur. (Photo: Mike Dinovo, USA TODAY Sports)
Former NASCAR drivers race in Iowa
Veteran driver Kyle Larson will be part of the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series race on Friday at Knoxville Raceway in Iowa during his first appearance in racing since receiving an indefinite suspension from NASCAR last month. .
Former NASCAR driver Kasey Kahne will also participate in Friday’s race, which begins with Hot Laps at 7:30 p.m. AND monitoring of qualifications and races at 8:30 am.
NASCAR suspended Larson indefinitely on April 13 for using a racial slur during an iRacing event over Easter. The statement led to Larson’s shot from Chip Ganassi Racing on April 14.
For several years, Larson owned a team of sprint cars that raced full-time on the World of Outlaws circuit. Winner of the series on several occasions, Larson continued to participate in land races while participating in the best NASCAR series since 2014.
Kahne, who retired from NASCAR after the 2018 season, remains a major player on the dirt racing scene. DIRTVision will broadcast live overnight as an online stream.
Alex Cerqueira rides The Hard Stuff during the second day of competition for the PBR Unleash The Beast Gwinnett Invitational at the Infinite Energy Center on March 15, 2020 in Duluth, Georgia. (Photo: Kevin C. Cox, Getty Images)
PBR still in Oklahoma
Forty cowboys are still beating outside of Guthrie, Oklahoma.
The Professional Bull Riding series will host its competition without Lazy E Arena and Ranch fans on Saturday and Sunday, marking the third consecutive weekend of PBR Live. CBS Sports Network will broadcast the event from Saturday at 8 p.m. AND.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the ACB adjusted its schedule last month to settle in isolation half an hour north of downtown Oklahoma City.
About 140 people – including PBR staff, medical staff and the TV production team – stayed in camper vans on Lazy E grounds during the events. Most of the individuals returned home between the events, an PBR official told the Oklahoman.
After a two-day event at Lazy E Arena from May 16 to 17, the PBR plans to host a live event with spectators on May 30 in Sheridan, Wyoming.
Contributors: Nolan King of MMA Junkie, Dargan Southard of Des Moines Register, Andy Kent, special contributor to the Palm Beach Post; Oklahoman Jeff Patterson.