California Cancels All Combat Sporting Events Until June, Including UFC San Diego

By Jay Pettry Apr 2, 2020

The coronavirus has made one state take wide-sweeping action, forcing all California combat sports events to shut down until June.

According to ESPN on Thursday, the California Department of Consumer Affairs has shuttered every event pertaining to combat sports for the next two months. This includes boxing, kickboxing, Muay Thai, grappling and MMA, and the ban will be in effect until June. The Department will revisit the ban in the future and make a later decision on if it needs to be extended, as it observes the fallout from the coronavirus.

On the California State Athletic Commission event schedule, 22 cards will no longer proceed forward, and most notably this will impact UFC San Diego. That event is slated to take place at Pechanga Arena in San Diego on May 16, where the planned headliner is Dustin Poirier vs. Dan Hooker at lightweight. It is unclear if the promotion will relocate the event, or if it will be forced to scuttle it as it has done so for other cards unable to find a suitable home.

Additionally, two upcoming Bellator MMA events were slated to take place in California, including Bellator 242 on May 9 and Bellator 243 on May 29. Had the promotion not already shut them down, this proclamation would have done so.

California will not be the first state to shut down combat sports events, as the Nevada State Athletic Commission scratched all such events in March.

The statement regarding the ban from CSAC wrote (as stated by ESPN), “The Commission didn’t take this decision lightly and understands the potential economic loss to promoters and the industry of combative sports.” In an effort to fight against the spread of the coronavirus, the CSAC concluded, “We had to weigh the best interest of our fighters and the community around us.”

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