UFC marks the return of sport after Trump’s message

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UFC 249 took place with no fans Saturday due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
The world football championships have all ceased due to the virus – although the German Bundesliga will be back next weekend – along with MLB, NBA and NHL, but Jacksonville, Florida hosted the fanless MMA show.

“I want to congratulate Dana White and the UFC,” said Trump in a recorded message sent by the sports broadcaster ESPN, referring to the president of the UFC, who is also one of his economic advisers.

“They’re going to have a great game. We love it. We think it’s important. Bring back the sports leagues. Let’s play. We keep our social distances and whatever else you need to do. We need sports. We want our sports. Congratulations to Dana White and UFC. “

Second a report, the floor of the cage and the padding of the octagon in which the fights take place were regularly cleaned during the Saturday night acts. Many of those inside the stadium wore masks and gloves.

However, this did not include the referees, the presenter and some other officials, the same report claimed. Everyone had to be tested before entering the arena.

A middleweight, Jacare Souza, canceled his fight against Uriah Hall on Friday after testing positive for the virus.

White defended his decision to organize the event – which was originally scheduled for New York in mid-April – tell CNN last week it wasn’t a “crazy” idea.

“Listen, we also have families,” he said. “I have a family. I don’t want to hurt my family. I don’t want to die.

“This is not just a little crazy … this is a well thought out plan. We have had very, very intelligent people, doctors and people who have been involved with the UFC for a long time working on this thing relentlessly since it was started.

“We believe we have this thing in a place where it can be as safe as possible.”

Other fights this week

Two more fighting nights are slated for Jacksonville on Wednesday and Saturday, but White hasn’t discounted organizing attacks on an island in the future.

As for action on Saturday, Justin Gaethje stopped favorite Tony Ferguson in the fifth and final round to get the light provisional title, and Henry Cejudo successfully defended his bantamweight crown by knocking out Dominick Cruz in the second round – first to announce his retirement.

“I am happy with my career,” said Cejudo, the gold medalist at the 2008 Olympics. “I have done enough in the sport. I want to leave and have fun. I am 33 years old.”

A bloody Tony Ferguson (left) was shocked by Justin Gaethje at UFC 249.

Ferguson was to meet Russia’s undefeated Khabib Nurmagomedov, but was canceled for the fifth time. On this occasion, it was due to travel restrictions placed on Nurmagomedov due to the pandemic.

Gaethje has taken a step forward and Ferguson said he hasn’t adapted to the different style.

“I had spent a lot of time preparing for Khabib, who is not a striker,” he said.

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