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Sign up for ESPN+ right here, and you can then stream UFC 259 live on
your smart TV, computer, phone, tablet or streaming device via the
ESPN app.

If the
Ultimate Fighting Championship
has its way, fans will be back
en masse at events in the very near future.

At the
UFC 259
pre-fight press conference, UFC President Dana White
spoke to media about a myriad of topics including some upcoming
events. Texas Governor Greg Abbott
rescinded the mask mandate for COVID-19 on Monday, while opening up
venues to 100-percent capacity
. Effective March 10, all Texas
businesses will be allowed to re-open to full capacity, and Abbott
has stripped the local government from re-imposing a mask mandate.
The businesses will be allowed to limit their own capacities based
on their own internal policies.

This new development has the UFC head chomping at the bit to put on
fight cards in front of large audiences again. White vowed that he
would not stage events unless a full crowd was able to attend,
although a limited number of fans were in the Etihad Arena in Abu
Dhabi, United Arab Emirates for the last few “Fight Island”
shows.

“As soon as the governor of Texas said that, I called,” White
stated. “Dallas said no. I’m working on Houston, so we’ll see if we
can get Houston done. I want to go to Texas ASAP, I’ll go in the
next two, three weeks. I’m ready to roll. We’ll be first, we’ll
open this thing out, we’ll sell out and be on our way.”

ESPN asked a follow-up about the looming UFC 260 card that will
take place on March 27, querying if the promotion was considering
shifting the event from UFC Apex in Las Vegas to a city in
Texas.

“Could be,” White said with a smirk. “We’ll see. I’m ready to go.
I’d move [UFC 259] if we could. I told everybody, ‘when this opened
up, that I would be first, and we would go first.’ And we
will.”

Middleweight champ Israel
Adesanya
remarked about the potential for a whole event to move
on short notice, referencing the UFC 232 debacle from 2018.

“If I recall, they’ve moved a show before on like three days’
notice,” Adesanya quipped. “From Vegas to [Los Angeles]. I wonder
why.”

At UFC 232, the returning Jon Jones was
set to vie for the vacant light heavyweight throne against rival
Alexander
Gustafsson
. Prior to the event, Jones tested positive for
miniscule amounts of turinabol in his system, prompting the Nevada
State Athletic Commission to close the door on allowing Jones to
compete without an investigation. The UFC opted instead of losing
the fight to relocate it days before the card to The Forum in
Inglewood, Calif. Adesanya appeared delighted to throw a sly jab at
potential future adversary Jones, even miming a rimshot gesture
after saying his piece.

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