On Aug. 9, 2021, CoreSports issued a press release announcing their “Fight Night” boxing event — headlined by Hafthor Björnsson — and the World’s Ultimate Strongman and Woman (WUS) contests that were scheduled to be held on Sep. 17 and 18 in Jacksonville, FL, have been relocated to the United Arab Emirates due to concerns related to COVID-19 in the United States. No city was included in the press release.
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“The health and safety of our athletes, teams, fans, and their respective families is our top priority and at the forefront of all our decisions made during these unprecedented and rapidly evolving times,” the release read. “Sticking to our ‘show must go on’ ethos, the decision has been made to go ahead with both events as originally scheduled on the 17th and 18th September, with the new location being the United Arab Emirates along with a wider global digital and TV broadcast. The new arena and ticketing information will be announced over the coming days.”
The release went on to say that refunds would be issued for tickets already purchased for the Jacksonville location. The fight will still be available to watch on pay-per-view on CoreSports for fans who cannot attend the event in person. The WUS contests will air on ESPN2 on Sep. 17, 2021, at 10:00 p.m. EST. They will also be streamed on the Rogue Fitness YouTube channel and the CoreSports service for free.
WUS Event Relocation
This is the second time that the events have been relocated. When the fight and contests were announced in May of 2020, they were originally set to take place in Las Vegas, NV. Due to COVID-19 regulations and concerns, the move to Jacksonville was announced on July 1st, 2021. They have now been moved again to UAE. According to the New York Times, at the time of this article’s publication, there have been 2.73 million COVID-19 cases in Florida, 39,695 of which have resulted in death. The weekly new case average in Florida has more than quadrupled since June.
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The original card for the Fight Night event was to be main-evented by Björnsson vs. Eddie Hall in a battle of the 500-kilogram deadlifters — they are the only two humans to accomplish that milestone. However, Hall tore his biceps in training and had to undergo surgery. He is not expected to be cleared to fight until sometime in 2022. Björnsson’s new opponent for the September fight has yet to be named. The undercard is still expected to include Josh Bridges vs. Jacob Heppner in a battle of CrossFit Games athletes and Stefi Cohen vs. Avril Mathie.
The WUS contest would be historic as the first contest under the WUS banner to feature strongwoman competitors. Andrea Thompson, Melissa Peacock, Annabelle Chapman, Jessica Fithen, and Nadia Stowers have already been confirmed to compete.
Featured Image: @thorbjornsson on Instagram