June 6, 2020; Las Vegas, NV, USA; A general view of the octagon prior to UFC 250 at the UFC APEX. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via USA TODAY Sports Credit: Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via USA TODAY Sports

It’s been more than seven months since WWE and UFC finalized their merger to form TKO Group Holdings and thus far, the crossovers between the professional wrestling and mixed martial arts giants have been few and far between.

It appears, however, that the two sides are beginning to pick up the experimentation, with WWE announcing that its NXT Battleground premium live event will take place at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas on Sunday, July 9.

“We are always exploring new frontiers to showcase NXT and we are excited to bring Battleground to this world-class event and production facility in partnership with UFC,” WWE Senior Vice President of Talent Development Creative Shawn Michaels said in a release.

It’s unclear how many fans will be permitted to attend the first-ever WWE event at the 130,000-square foot UFC production facility, which is typically reserved for UFC Fight Night events and Dana White’s Contender Series. According to WWE, limited NXT Battleground Priority Passes will soon be available through its exclusive partner On Location, which is currently accepting deposits for presale opportunities.

To this point, there has been limited crossover between WWE and UFC since the two companies merged last September, with perhaps the most notable exception being Michael Chandler cutting a pro wrestling-style promo challenging Conor McGregor during an episode of WWE Raw. Considering that NXT is WWE’s quasi-developmental brand, one would imagine that the Apex hosting Battleground could potentially lead to additional crossover opportunities.

To that end, it’s worth noting that Battleground will take place one week after Chandler and McGregor square off in their highly anticipated fight at the UFC 303 pay-per-view, which will also take place in Las Vegas (albeit at T-Mobile Arena). With WWE president Nick Khan having previously floated the idea of a WWE/UFC-style All-Star Weekend, the one-week difference between the two TKO events in the same city could make for an interesting test case.


About Ben Axelrod

Ben Axelrod is a veteran of the sports media landscape, having most recently worked for NBC's Cleveland affiliate, WKYC. Prior to his time in Cleveland, he covered Ohio State football and the Big Ten for outlets including Cox Media Group, Bleacher Report, Scout and Rivals.