The UFC has concluded its triple header of occasions in Jacksonville, Florida, as it became the first sporting organisation to return to action in the United States since the cornavirus shutdown.
With the health of fighters and support staff a concern, the UFC sought to minimize the danger by utilizing several steps, consisting of Covid-19 and antibody testing, and daily medical check-ups.
There was one noteworthy scare prior to 9 Might’s UFC 249 event when Brazilian fighter Ronaldo ‘Jacare’ Souza and two of his cornermen tested favorable for Covid-19 upon their arrival in Jacksonville. But, instead of cancel the event, the UFC instead relocated to isolate the three guys and supplied immediate medical support while continuing with the shows, which provided a hat-trick of magnificent fight nights.
” It feels good,” UFC president Dana White told press reporters at the post-fight news conference.
” I enjoy to have it behind me. It was effective in every way it could be effective. I feel fantastic about it. More significantly, no one is ill. No one has gotten ill. There’s no assurances in life, however ideally that holds true and we all go house. It was an excellent event. It was a great week.”
‘ It’s like having 77 coaches – I heard everything’
The events themselves were held behind closed doors at the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena. It made for an eerie, yet engaging seeing experience, with the holler of the crowd changed by the noise of punches and kicks echoing around the empty arena, with the voices of the cornermen clearly audible throughout the fights.
One fighter who said he relished the experience was UFC heavyweight Greg Hardy, who described that he directly gained from the absence of crowd sound as he reacted to hearing co-commentator – and previous two-division UFC champion – Daniel Cormier explaining how he needs to handle the punishing leg kicks he was getting from opponent Yorgan de Castro.
” It resembles having 77 coaches,” he chuckled.
” You’ve got Daniel Cormier back there, like, ‘Hey, if he doesn’t check that leg, he’s going to lose that front leg.’ I heard whatever.
” I could hear my specific coaches. I might hear specific directions. I might hear De Castro’s coaches, so it was super sweet.”
Hardy, who has asthma, was open about his coronavirus issues heading into battle week, and admitted after his success that becoming aware of Souza’s stopped working test left him in a slight panic before his battle. However he leaned on his previous experience as an NFL player to help him stay focused throughout the accumulation.
He stated: “We’re quarantining, panicking all the method up until the fight, and as quickly as I learnt that I didn’t have it, but ‘Jacare’ has it, I was, like, ‘Oh my god. Do I get retested? What do I do?’
” So I went nuts a bit, but like I said, the primary thing about this camp was keeping composure since we understood it was going to be crazy. It had to do with being a professional, using what I discovered in the NFL, transitioning into MMA and making certain I was a professional today.”
What next for the UFC?
While the lack of a crowd might have provided a different ambience to the Jacksonville programs, veteran fans who have actually viewed the UFC’s talent-finding truth program, The Ultimate Fighter, and midweek fight-night program Dana White’s Contender Series, will be familiar with seeing fighters complete in near-empty spaces, with both shows featuring prospects battling on closed sets at the UFC’s purpose-built facilities.
It is hoped the most recent of those centers, the UFC Peak, will form the short-term home for the organisation’s Las Vegas displays in the near future. The multi-million-dollar facility was constructed particularly for the UFC to hold small events for broadcast on its live-streaming platform, UFC Fight Pass. Today the Peak could come into its own as the UFC’s house for US-based programs over the coming months, with restrictions expected to be alleviated in Nevada in the coming weeks.
However, with travel restrictions into, and out of, the United States suggesting a big portion of the UFC lineup is still not able to travel to America to complete, White and the UFC require an extra service to guarantee their complete international roster can go back to action. Extremely, White has actually addressed the problem by protecting using an undefined private island, where he prepares to host international events in the coming months.
Called ‘Fight Island’, the secret location could, according to White, phase the go back to action of undefeated UFC lightweight champ Khabib Nurmagomedov and Irish super star Conor McGregor, in addition to the UFC’s UK fighters, consisting of Darren Till, Leon Edwards and Molly McCann.
It seems not likely we’ll see fans inside a UFC arena up until much later, after travel constraints and social distancing procedures have been considerably relieved. However, after successfully hosting 3 occasions in fast succession, White and the UFC head home to Las Vegas and are preparing to begin hosting routine occasions – albeit behind closed doors – as soon as again.
” We worked difficult to pull this thing off,” said White, whose team has actually shared its operational documents with other US sporting leagues and executives.
” Nothing implies more to me than the security of everybody that was associated with the event. Not just with Covid-19, but the fight that wasn’t stopped soon adequate – all these type of things. Anytime we finish an event, I desire everyone to go home safe. It’s not any different now with the Covid-19 thing.
” We will do everything in our power. We will invest the cash. We will get the very best, the brightest. We’ll talk to doctors and experts in the field to determine how to beat it. Among the important things I always do is I think absolutely nothing is difficult. Whatever can be done, specifically in2020 You simply have to want to strive enough, spend some money and create solutions.”
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