UFC ended on a high note last year, putting up an excellent Fight Night headlined by 'Wonderboy' Stephen Thompson and Geoff Neal on December 19, 2020. Usually UFC hosted either Fight Nights or pay-per-view events every Saturday night all along the pandemic period. But there was no event on December 26, 2020.
So, is there a UFC card happening next Saturday, January 2, 2021?
No, there is not.
UFC is currently on a short hiatus as the world celebrates the holiday season and the new year. This is the first time the promotion has gone on a break since the beginning of the lockdown period.
UFC Brasilia on March 14 was the last UFC event prior to the nationwide lockdown, after which several consecutive events were cancelled because of the pandemic. Action resumed on May 9, which saw a postponed UFC 249 take place, headlined by Justin Gaethje versus Tony Ferguson for the interim lightweight belt.
Since then, UFC has managed to hold a fight card every week, only to take break for a month from mid-December to mid-January. They became the only sporting organization to continue putting up events throughout the pandemic. UFC successfully pulled off 41 events this year, including 11 PPVs.
UFC 249 was originally scheduled to take place on April 18, with a lightweight title fight between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson as the main event. But like the four times before this, the fight between the two 155-pounders was cancelled a fifth time as Khabib got stuck in his home country Russia due to Coronavirus travel restrictions.
However, Tony Ferguson's loss turned out to be Justin Gaethje's gain. 'The Highlight' became the interim lightweight champion knocking 'El Cucuy' out in the fifth round of the contest, securing himself a chance at the undisputed championship later on.
Justin Gaethje could not capitalize on the opportunity and was submitted by Khabib at UFC 254.
When is the next UFC fight card?
The next UFC event takes place on January 16, 2021. On December 25, UFC confirmed the next three fight cards set to take place at Fight Island in Abu Dhabi, starting from January 16's card.
UFC Fight Night: Holloway vs. Kattar - January 16, 2021
The first UFC event of the year will see former featherweight champion Max Holloway go up against Calvin Kattar in the headliner. Tom Breese meets Omari Akhmedov in the middleweight main event.
UFC Fight Night: Chiesa vs. Magny - January 20, 2021
The original main event between Leon Edwards and Khamzat Chimaev fell out owing to the latter suffering from COVID-19 complications. As a result, the co-feature fight Michael Chiesa vs. Neil Magny has now been promoted to headline. Viviane Araujo now faces Roxanne Modafferi in the co-main event.
UFC 257: Poirier vs. McGregor 2 - January 23, 2021
'The Notorious' Conor McGregor will make his much-awaited octagon return at UFC 257 against 'The Diamond' Dustin Poirier. Michael Chandler, who has been waiting to make his UFC debut, is likely to face Dan Hooker on this card as well.Published 02 Jan 2021, 01:02 IST