The NBA took one step closer to a return on Wednesday when commissioner Adam Silver announced a plan to return this summer with a 22-team format.
Games will be played in Orlando at Walt Disney World beginning in July with a slate of eight regular season contests featuring teams six games back or less in the race for the No. 8 seed in the conference playoffs, as well as the conferences’ top eight teams in the standings as of the March 12 suspension of play.
A play-in tournament to determine the No. 8 seed could take place when play resumes in July.
Postseason play will stretch into the fall with a potential Game 7 of the 2020 NBA Finals being played on Monday, Oct. 12.
The NBA’s board of governors is expected to approve this plan on a Thursday conference call.
Onward to today’s topic:
It’s been almost three months since the Ultimate Fighting Championship held a pay-per-view show in its hometown of Las Vegas, but Saturday night, while the IndyCar Series races in Texas for the first event of its season, the biggest brand in MMA is back on PPV at home.
UFC returns for the second straight week of action in Las Vegas at the UFC Apex this weekend for UFC 250 on ESPN+ pay-per-view.
Action begins with the early prelims (three in total) Saturday evening at 6 p.m. ET, 3 p.m. PT on ESPN, ESPN+ and UFC Fight Pass, before moving to ESPN and ESPN+ for the remaining four late prelims at 8 p.m. ET, 5 p.m. PT.
Finally, the night culminates in the five-fight main card on ESPN+ pay-per-view at 10 p.m. ET, 7 p.m. PT.
If you have yet to preorder UFC 250, access www.espnplus.com/ppv today to buy the main card for this Saturday night.
As has been the case with all UFC cards since March 14 in Brasilia, UFC 250 will take place without a live audience to attempt to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Highlighting the evening is a UFC Women’s Featherweight title fight between champion Amanda Nunes (19-4) and challenger Felicia Spencer (8-1).
As with all title fights, this one will be a five-round contest at five minutes per round, and is a rebooking of a fight from the original UFC 250 before the card was pushed back to this month due to the pandemic.
Heading into Saturday night’s main event, champion Nunes is the taller contestant, standing 5-foot-8, two inches taller than challenger Spencer’s 5-foot-6 frame.
How they got here:
Nunes has posted a record of 5-0 record in her last five fights dating back to December of 2016, three of which were by knockouts.
Most recently, she scored a unanimous decision against Germaine de Randamie in UFC 245’s championship trifecta on Dec. 14 last year.
In the other corner, Spencer has gone 4-1 in her last five contests.
Last time out, she stopped Zarah Fairn (first-round knockout) during UFC on ESPN+ 27 back on Feb. 29.
The Tale of the Tape:
UFC.com shows that Amanda Nunes owns a one-inch reach advantage (69 inches to 68 inches) and a 1.5-inch leg reach advantage (41 inches to 39.5 inches) over Felicia Spencer.
Prediction: Amanda Nunes by unanimous decision.
Other fights on Saturday night’s main card:
Co-main event: No. 5 contender Raphael Assuncao (27-7) vs. No. 9 contender Cody Garbrandt (11-3) [Bantamweight]
No. 2 contender Aljamain Sterling (17-3) vs. No. 4 contender Cory Sandhagen (12-1) [Bantamweight]
Neil Magny (22-8) vs. Anthony Rocco Martin (17-5) [Welterweight]
Eddie Wineland (24-13-1) vs. Sean O’Malley (11-0) [Bantamweight]