Dana White: UFC Looking at Texas Event, Potentially in Houston

Dana White, UFC 259 presser
Dana White, UFC 259 pre-fight press conference Credit: Gabriel Gonzalez/Cageside Press

Las Vegas, NV — Texas is ready to open up for business. And UFC President Dana White has already begun the feeling out process, with the hopes of hosting a live event in the state in the near future.

With much of America, and the globe, still in varying degrees of lockdowns due to the coronavirus pandemic, Texas broke rank earlier this week. Governor Greg Abbott announced just days ago that “Texas is OPEN 100%. EVERYTHING.”

Public health officials may beg to differ. Vaccination rollouts are still ongoing. But with the Governor declaring the state open and ending its mask mandate, the potential for live sporting events is there. Asked about the possibility of a live event in Texas at Thursday’s UFC 259 pre-fight press conference, White confirmed that the promotion was already in talks.

“As soon as the governor of Texas said that, I called. Dallas said no, and we’re working on Houston. We’ll see if we can get Houston done,” revealed White.

The UFC has not had a live event with fans since March of 2020. With the one-year anniversary of empty arena shows quickly approaching, the hunt is on for a venue that will permit a full house of spectators. Historically, White has stated that the UFC is not interested in socially distanced shows with partial attendance. That would mean a full house if the UFC does head to Houston.

“I want to go to Texas ASAP. I’ll go in the next two, three weeks. I’m ready to roll,” proclaimed White. “We’ll be first, we’ll open this thing up, we’ll sell it out, and be on our way.”