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UFC Lincoln currently remains amidst local COVID-19 gathering ban

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022_Anthony_Smith.0.jpgEsther Lin, MMA Fighting

As of now, nothing has changed in regards to the UFC’s scheduled return to Lincoln, Neb.

With the coronavirus pandemic taking hold in the U.S., the City of Lincoln has made the decision to follow many other areas of the country by instituting enforceable restrictions — which includes a ban on gatherings over 10 people.

Pat Lopez, the Interim Health Director of the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department, made the decision to “further limit the opportunities for community spread of the novel coronavirus, which causes COVID-19”. The ban is scheduled to last from Thursday through May 6.

UFC Lincoln is scheduled to take place April 25 at Pinnacle Bank Arena, featuring a light heavyweight main event between former title challengers Anthony Smith and Glover Teixeira.

Following an inquiry on the status of next month’s event from MMA Fighting, Nebraska Deputy Athletic Commissioner Brian Dunn revealed — like most of the sports world — that UFC Lincoln is in a state of flux.

“I think things are changing too rapidly to know what will happen in a month,” Dunn told MMA Fighting. “That said, we will follow the direction of the governor. I think if health departments determine it to be safe to hold an event, open to the public or not, we will proceed as directed.”

The UFC has been forced to postpone three recent events due to the coronavirus outbreak around the globe. UFC 249 is currently still in tact and Dana White remains adamant that it will move forward behind closed doors.

White also plans to continue the rest of the 2020 slate of cards following UFC 249. Whether or not the promotion’s April 25 event will emanate from the Cornhusker State remains a mystery.

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