UFC 261 is already an interesting event, with two women's Championship bouts headlining the event on April 24. Weili Zhang will defend her Strawweight Title against Rose Namajunas, and Valentina Shevchenko will try to keep the Flyweight belt away from Jessica Andrade.
The UFC boss made the unexpected announcement about UFC 261 in a video posted to his Twitter, in which he reveals the event will take place in Florida at the Veterans Memorial Arena.
"What's up, everybody? UFC president Dana White here, and 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 five-star Veterans Memorial Arena. And you know, I'm bringing an incredible card. We have three title fights. The UFC Welterweight Championship, Kamaru Usman vs Jorge Masvidal II. The Women's Flyweight Championship, Valentina Shevchenko vs Jessica Andrade, and the fight everybody has been waiting for: the Women's Strawweight championship with Weili Zhang vs Rose Namajunas. This is a step card in front of 15,000 UFC fans. Tickets go on sale very soon, so keep checking Ticketmaster for details. Ladies and gentlemen, we are back. UFC 261 on April 24 Jacksonville, Florida, three title fights 15,000 fans, and I just want to say thank you Jacksonville, I love you guys, and we will see you soon," said White in the video.
While UFC 261 is being shaped to highlight two women's title fights, the addition of Usman vs. Masvidal II brings a whole new perspective to the event.
The two Welterweight contenders first fought in July 2020 in a bout that Gamebred took under very short notice. He was defeated via unanimous decision but claimed that things would have been different if he had a full training camp.
After Usman defeated Gilbert Burns in his subsequent title defense, he issued a fresh challenge to 'Gamebred,' claiming that he was open to facing him again.
What was the last event before UFC 261 that had a crowd?
UFC 248: Adesanya vs. Romero was the last UFC event that took place with an audience's presence before the COVID-19 pandemic forced the world to shut down.
The next UFC event, Fight Night 170 in Brazil, was the last show promoted by the fighting organization before closing operations for two months before returning with its Fight Island.