Sold-out UFC 261 tickets come with dire COVID-19 warning


UFC is warning fans of a possible 1-2 punch.

Tickets for April 24’s UFC 261 card at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida, sold out in minutes, UFC President Dana White said on Twitter. Now, fans hoping to see Kamaru Usman and Jorge Masvidal’s welterweight title rematch and flyweight champ Valentina Shevchenko’s attempt to defend her belt against Jessica Andrade will have to turn to the secondary market.

It won’t be easy to get into the first stateside fight to permit fans in over a year. According to Yahoo Sports, the ticket sale of 15,000 set a record for largest gross gate, and are being resold for 20 times face value.

Money may not be the only price to pay for entry. Fine print on the tickets warn of possible exposure to and contraction of COVID-19, which “may result in severe and permanent damage to the health of the Holder and/or others, including but not limited to, death, fever, weight loss, irreversible pulmonary, respiratory and/or neurological system damage, loss of taste or smell, mental or emotional distress, temporary or permanent disability, loss of income, loss of employment, loss of financial or other opportunities, medical expenses,” among its legalese.

Duval County, where Jacksonville is located, is listed at “substantial” level of community transmission as of Friday.

UFC returns to Jacksonville, the site of the first live sporting event the promotion put on during the coronavirus pandemic last year — without an audience. Things have certainly changed since.

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Janice Hill

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