Forty-eight hours after California suspended combat sports through the end of March because of the coronavirus outbreak, the Nevada State Athletic Commission held an emergency meeting Saturday and decided to put combat sports on a hiatus as well through at least March 25.
NSAC executive director Bob Bennett said the commission will vote March 25 on the status of future events in the state.
Saturday night’s amateur mixed martial arts event, Tuff-N-Uff, in Las Vegas was canceled as a result of this vote.
Over the next 10 days, no major MMA or boxing event will be held in the state, but that is scheduled to change soon afterward.
On Thursday, the UFC announced it had moved its March 28 show in Columbus, Ohio, and April 11 event in Portland, Ore., to the UFC Apex facility in Las Vegas with only essential personnel in attendance and without spectators.
Premier Boxing Champions has a show at the Park MGM on March 28, while Top Rank has a boxing show April 11 at the Cosmopolitan and another April 25 at Mandalay Bay.
The coronavirus also has delayed the official announcement of Canelo Alvarez’s return to the ring May 2 at T-Mobile Arena in a fight against Billy Joe Saunders. Alvarez promoter Golden Boy has had a deal done for days on the fight, but it has been handicapped by the domino effect of the coronavirus outbreak just like every other major sports organization.
On Thursday, Golden Boy had to cancel Los Angeles-based boxing events March 19 at the Avalon and March 28 at the Forum because of the CSAC decision. Separately, two Top Rank boxing events at Madison Square Garden in New York — one Saturday, the other Tuesday — were also canceled because of the coronavirus.
It remains unclear whether an Alvarez-Saunders fight will take place May 2 in Las Vegas. Even if the NSAC deemed it safe for the fight to move forward, there would be little time to properly promote the fight and sell tickets.
Las Vegas casinos have been taking measures to prevent the spreading of the coronavirus in recent days. Many resorts have shuttered operations in their buffets, nightclubs, poker rooms, sports books, spas and salons as a preventive measure of further spreading the disease.
Sin City also is scheduled to host the NFL draft this year from April 23 to 25, and a decision has not been made on whether it will move forward as originally planned.