UFC is finally back with a full capacity crowd. After hosting Fight Nights and pay-per-views in empty or scarcely populated arenas for a year, the promotion will be bringing back a "full house of fans" next month, according to UFC president Dana White.
UFC 261 will take place on April 24, 2021, at the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida, with three title fights on the card.
In a promotional video earlier today, Dana White announced that with the upcoming pay-per-view UFC 261, the promotion will travel once again to Florida, where they last held events in May 2020 amidst the pandemic.
This time, however, around 15,000 UFC fans will be present at the arena to witness the title fights. Tickets for the event will go live soon, as White requested fans to keep checking Ticketmaster for details.
"I have been waiting a year for this day to tell you, we are back! UFC 261 on April 24 will be in Jacksonville, Florida, with a full house of fans, full capacity, at the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena, and you know, I'm bringing in an incredible card," said Dana White in the promotional video.
Which three titles will be defended at UFC 261?
UFC 261 will be headlined by the Welterweight championship fight, where Kamaru Usman will defend his belt for the fourth time and will face Jorge Masvidal. The two had previously locked horns at UFC 251 last year, where The Nigerian Nightmare had emerged victorious via a unanimous decision at the end of five rounds.
Jorge Masvidal had taken the fight on six day's notice after Gilbert Burns had pulled out after testing positive for COVID-19.
Women's Flyweight Champion Valentina Shevchenko will put her Championship on the line against Jessica Andrade in the co-main event at UFC 261.
The third title fight of the card will see Women's Strawweight Champion Weili Zhang defend her throne against Rose Namajunas in a bout that, as Dana White puts it, "everybody has been waiting for".
This will be Zhang's first appearance in the octagon since her historic battle against Joanna Jedrzejczyk last March.
Other fights on the UFC 261 card so far include -
Uriah Hall vs. Chris Weidman
Jimmy Crute vs. Anthony Smith
Danaa Batgerel vs. Kevin Natividad
Brendan Allen vs. Karl Roberson
Qileng Aori vs. Jeffrey Molina
Johnny Munoz vs. Mark Striegl