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Donald Trump says major sports could return soon as ‘made for television’ events

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

As Dana White prepares to get UFC events back up and running next month, President Donald Trump doesn’t see that idea as a farfetched one.

On Thursday, Trump spoke to reporters at the White House daily coronavirus briefing to lay out a new set of guidelines to help reopen economies on a state and national level amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

One of the reporters on-site asked the President when the public could expect the return of major sporting events. Trump believes fans could be watching their favorite athletes compete on television very soon.

“As you know, I spoke to many of the commissioners [Wednesday] — almost every sport — and many of them will be starting without the fans,” Trump said. “So it will be made for television, the good old days, made for television. And it will go that way and then the fans will start coming in (over time).”

White was seemingly part of that conversation with Trump as he as named to a task force to help the United States get back on track economically.

The UFC is targeting May 9 for their return to pay-per-view. Should the event go on as planned, it will feature three title fights, headlined by Tony Ferguson and Justin Gaethje for the interim lightweight championship.

Currently, a location for the May 9, or future events, has yet to be revealed. Earlier this week, White stated that he expects to be running events at the UFC APEX in Las Vegas next month and “in the foreseeable future.”

As far as fighters competing in front of fans, Trump hopes that can start to happen in phases over the next several months.

“Maybe they will be separated by two seats,” Trump stated. “And then, ultimately, we want to have packed arenas. When the virus is gone, we want to have packed arenas and we’re going to be back to enjoying sports they way they are supposed to be.”

In addition to the main event, should the May 9 card happen as planned, Henry Cejudo is slated to defend the bantamweight title against Dominick Cruz. Amanda Nunes is expected to defend her women’s featherweight title for the first time against top contender Felicia Spencer.

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