UFC return could provide blueprint for other pro leagues

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A worker wipes down the octagon between bouts during the UFC 249 mixed martial art event, Saturday, May 9, 2020, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

By MARK LONG

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — UFC President Dana White wanted a major fight card weeks ago. He was confident his team could pull it off. Coronavirus testing. Fan-free arena. Social distancing. Self-isolation. White looked at all those unprecedented details that seemed too complex and too risky to some outsiders as merely extra challenges. White and the UFC ended up with a rousing show at Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida. UFC 249 could serve as a blueprint for sports leagues around the country and the world as they start to resume during a global pandemic.

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