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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.


Michelle Waterson walks out with her masked entourage in UFC 249 AP


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.


Fight Results

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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The UFC returned to American network television for the first time in more than two years Saturday on ABC while former featherweight champion Max Holloway returned to his winning ways following two straight losses, earning a unanimous decision over Calvin Kattar in Abu Dhabi. Holloway showed he still has plenty left as a fighter dominating Kattar from the opening bell of the main event with a mix of punches and low kicks.

It appeared as if the former champion might stop his opponent in the fourth round landing a series of vicious body blows followed by hard elbows to the head as a bloodied Kattar sagged against the fence. But Kattar somehow survived managing to keep himself upright through the fifth stanza as well, only to lose a lopsided decision. After dropping his title to Alexander Volkanovski and then losing a controversial rematch, Holloway may have put himself in position for one more crack at the championship following Saturday's impressive performance.

The Legendary Black Belt Magazine Hall of Fame has never before been documented in a single location. Now, you can learn about all the icons that have achieved one of the greatest honors in all of martial arts.

Black Belt Magazine is proud to announce the NEW Member Profiles feature for the Hall of Fame. At the time of this article, the online records account for every inductee from the inaugural year of 1968 all the way through 1990 (upwards of 200 martial artists). The page will be updated continuously and will include every inductee through 2020 in the near future. For now, you can enjoy images and facts about the legendary members for each induction they received before 1991. Take advantage of this never-before-seen opportunity to learn about many of the martial artists who contributed to the lifestyle, culture, and community that every martial artist experiences today.

CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE BLACK BELT HALL OF FAME

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When it comes to grappling arts most people have heard of Judo, Ju-Jitsu, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Sambo, and Sumo. The dynamic art of Shuaijiao, though it is not as well known as the others, should be.

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Shuaijiao (also spelled Shuai-Chiao) is a Chinese martial art that is approximately four thousand years old. Shuaijiao was born in a time of warfare long ago when to fall on the battlefield meant likely to never get up, and in that spirit, the curriculum of Shuaijiao focuses on throwing in a variety of ways. It is a standup grappling style, meaning that although there are hip throws, leg sweeps, and hand techniques, like many other arts, there is no ground grappling. The goal of Shuaijiao is to end up in a dominant position standing.

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