Millions tuned in to UFC 249 Saturday night May 9th for not only the first fight since the COVID-19 pandemic began, but also the first US sporting event drawing an audience of more than the typical MMA fan. This historic fight offered a look into the new atmosphere of empty stadiums with no crowds that may become the new normal for future events. However, the excitement and intensity of the fights did not disappoint.
From an at home viewers perspective UFC 249 appeared on its face to be no different than the MMA fights we have come to love. However, as fighters began their walkouts it became subtly clear that the pandemic that has been affecting the world would be altering the atmosphere of this event as well.
UFC 249 | UFC www.ufc.com
As fighters began their walkouts the empty stadium echoed with music and an unfamiliar silence. With each fighters exit from the locker rooms an entourage of corner men wearing the now familiar medical grade mask followed just a few steps behind them. A sight that will forever mark the COVID-19 impact on the martial arts and UFC history.
As they entered the ring the familiar voice of Bruce Buffer rang through the air. Not lacking any excitement from the long drawn out announcement of each fighters name we have become familiar with there was an unfamiliar silence. The cheers of the crowd as each fighter paces back and forth filled with...silence.
Tony Ferguson vs. Justin Gaethje
Geathje Winner by TKO
Round 5 - 3:39
Henry Cejudo vs. Dominick Cruz
Cejudo Winner by TKO
Round 2 - 4:58
Francis Ngannou vs. Jairzinho Rozenstruik
Ngannou Winner by TKO
Round 1 - 0:20
Jeremy Stevens vs. Calvin Kattar
Kattar Winner by TKO
Round 2 - 2:49
Greg Hardy vs. Yorgan De Castro
Hardy Winner by Decision
Round 3 - 5:00
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