The UFC has concluded its triple header of occasions in Jacksonville, Florida, as it modified into the fundamental wearing organisation to return to action in the United States since the cornavirus shutdown.
With the health of combatants and give a enhance to workers a command, the UFC sought to decrease the danger by the spend of multiple measures, along with Covid-19 and antibody checking out, and day to day medical compare-ups.
There became one significant terror previous to 9 Also can’s UFC 249 event when Brazilian fighter Ronaldo ‘Jacare’ Souza and two of his cornermen tested certain for Covid-19 upon their arrival in Jacksonville. But, in position of abolish the event, the UFC instead moved to isolate the three men and supplied rapid medical give a enhance to while continuing with the shows, which delivered a hat-trick of spectacular fight nights.
“It feels correct,” UFC president Dana White urged journalists at the submit-fight data conference.
“I’m gratified to have it in the wait on of me. It became a hit in every formulation it would attach success. I feel immense about it. More importantly, no one is unwell. No person has gotten unwell. There will not be any ensures in life, but optimistically that is the case and all of us lunge residence. It became a immense event. It became a immense week.”
‘Or no longer it is esteem having 77 coaches – I heard all the issues’
The occasions themselves were held in the wait on of closed doors at the VyStar Veterans Memorial Enviornment. It made for an eerie, but compelling viewing trip, with the cry of the crowd replaced by the sound of punches and kicks echoing spherical the empty arena, with the voices of the cornermen clearly audible at some point of the fights.
One fighter who acknowledged he relished the trip became UFC heavyweight Greg Hardy, who outlined that he at once benefited from the dearth of crowd noise as he reacted to listening to co-commentator – and frail two-division UFC champion – Daniel Cormier describing how he could possibly perhaps restful address the punishing leg kicks he became receiving from opponent Yorgan de Castro.
“Or no longer it is esteem having 77 coaches,” he laughed.
“You are going to have got bought Daniel Cormier wait on there, esteem, ‘Whats up, if he does no longer compare that leg, he goes to lose that entrance leg.’ I heard all the issues.
“I could possibly perhaps hear my particular particular person coaches. I could possibly perhaps hear particular particular person instructions. I could possibly perhaps hear De Castro’s coaches, so it became immense sweet.”
Hardy, who has asthma, became delivery about his coronavirus concerns heading into fight week, and admitted after his victory that listening to about Souza’s failed test left him in a little worry previous to his fight. But he leaned on his prior trip as an NFL player to wait on him take care of focused at some point of the catch-up.
He acknowledged: “We’re quarantining, panicking all of the vogue up till the fight, and as quickly as I chanced on out that I did no longer have it, but ‘Jacare’ has it, I became, esteem, ‘Oh my god. Attain I catch retested? What attain I attain?’
“So I freaked out a tiny bit bit, but esteem I acknowledged, the fundamental command about this camp became keeping composure because we knew it became going to be loopy. It became about being a expert, the spend of what I realized in the NFL, transitioning into MMA and making sure I became a pro this week.”
What next for the UFC?
Whereas the dearth of a crowd will have supplied a selected ambience to the Jacksonville shows, prolonged-time followers who have watched the UFC’s ability-finding fact display hide, The Closing Fighter, and midweek fight-night programme Dana White’s Contender Sequence, will seemingly be accustomed to seeing combatants compete in conclude to-empty rooms, with both shows featuring possibilities struggling with on closed sets at the UFC’s motive-built services and products.
It is a ways hoped the latest of these services and products, the UFC Apex, will form the non permanent residence for the organisation’s Las Vegas shows in the conclude to future. The multi-million-greenback facility became built specifically for the UFC to take tiny-scale occasions for broadcast on its live-streaming platform, UFC War Chase. But now the Apex could possibly perhaps reach into its possess because the UFC’s residence for US-based fully shows over the coming months, with restrictions expected to be eased in Nevada in the coming weeks.
But, with slouch restrictions into, and out of, the United States which technique a enormous fragment of the UFC roster is restful unable to slouch to The usa to compete, White and the UFC need an additional answer to make certain their paunchy global roster can return to action. Remarkably, White has addressed the topic by securing the spend of an unspecified non-public island, where he plans to host global occasions in the coming months.
Dubbed ‘War Island’, the thriller design could possibly perhaps, based fully on White, stage the returns to action of undefeated UFC light-weight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov and Irish celeb Conor McGregor, as neatly because the UFC’s UK combatants, along with Darren Till, Leon Edwards and Molly McCann.
It seems no longer seemingly we will gape followers within a UFC arena till much later, after slouch restrictions and social distancing measures were vastly eased. But, after successfully internet internet hosting three occasions in mercurial succession, White and the UFC head residence to Las Vegas and are preparing to begin internet internet hosting traditional occasions – albeit in the wait on of closed doors – once more.
“We labored laborious to drag this command off,” acknowledged White, whose team has shared its operational documentation with a form of US wearing leagues and executives.
“Nothing technique more to me than the safety of every person that became all for the event. Not factual with Covid-19, but the fight that wasn’t stopped quickly enough – all these form of issues. Anytime we attain an event, I desire every person to lunge residence stable. Or no longer it is no longer any a form of now with the Covid-19 command.
“We can attain all the issues in our vitality. We can spend the money. We can catch basically the most productive, the brightest. We’ll discuss to medical doctors and specialists in the discipline to resolve out guidelines on how to beat it. Indubitably some of the issues I always attain is I imagine nothing is awfully no longer seemingly. All the issues could even be carried out, especially in 2020. You factual could possibly perhaps restful be keen to work laborious enough, spend some money and reach up with solutions.”