This month, the first closed-door UFC event took place in light of the recent coronavirus outbreak. The surreal and unusual footage from the event that took place in Brasilia, Brazil could be a sneak preview of what we can expect from UFC 249.
UFC Brasilia behind closed doors
On 14th March 2020, the UFC put on their first closed-door show in Brasilia, Brazil in light of the recent and worrying coronavirus outbreak. The main event of UFC Fight Night 170: Brasilia saw Charles Oliveira claim a victory over Kevin Lee by submission at the beginning of the third round. In another fight that took place that night, Gilbert Burns KO'd Demian Maia with an incredible left hook, establishing himself as a solid contender in the welterweight division.
The UFC’s measures to limit the spread of the coronavirus
During his time spent in Brasilia for the event, UFC president Dana White explained to the public the various measures that the organisation will be putting into place to prevent the coronavirus from spreading any further, and which will not only affect the fighters and staff but the fans as well. The most jarring change: most of the UFC’s events will be relocated:
We’ve been closely monitoring the situation with the coronavirus and its potential impact on the health and safety of UFC athletes, staff, and fans around the world. We’re moving forward with all our UFC live events but we’re gonna adapt to these unprecedented circumstances. Some of the events will be moved from the original host city to the UFC Apex here in Las Vegas and unfortunately, fans may not be allowed to attend the events. The events are still gonna be broadcast live on ESPN the network and on ESPN+ here in the United States. And on media partners worldwide including Combate in Brazil and UFC Fight Pass. So, you can watch the fights wherever you are on your TV, laptop, cell phone, anywhere you know the drill. And fans who had tickets to the event can get a full refund at the point of purchase. This is a very tough situation that is constantly evolving. So, we will keep you updated as best we can. We greatly appreciate your understanding and your continued support. Thank you guys very much.