Although the lockdown measures across a number of states have already been lifted, many major US sports are yet to announce a potential date in which they’re set to return as fears around the spread of coronavirus remain – all that is with one exception in combat sports, as the UFC managed to hold a number of events in short succession without a hitch – well a minor one, but it was handled well enough.
The first event held on the 9th featured two title fights in which non gamstop casinos and betting sites would go on to say the event was the most bet UFC night of all time, and as ESPN and the UFC no longer release their PPV sales numbers or viewership figures, is a good indicator of just how successful the night was. One fight of that evening did unfortunately have to be cancelled as one fighter did test positive for the virus, however it was discovered two days prior and as such measures were put in place to keep the other fighters safe and to reduce any risk of infection elsewhere.
The two following fight night events were held on the Thursday and following Sunday – although there were no title fights, the fights that were held were very good although one had been met with a little controversy as some felt that a stoppage could’ve been called for much earlier – a bit of a change from the usual criticism of fights being stopped earlier than they should.
It could spell a sign of good news for other major sporting events however as the MMA has in some measure paved the way for other events to follow – by showing that events can be held safely and managed correctly – the same is also true for European sports as the Bundesliga in Germany has already got back underway with similar success. This does provide an answer to the many questions around different sports and just how their return will look – within MLB there have been suggestions such as moving the league to Japan, or separating teams by state to run two different leagues side by side instead of the standard major league to reduce the movement required – with this success, however, it has been shown that is unnecessary so long as necessary precautions are taken.
As it stands, none of the major sports have suggested a date in which they will return, if others are anything to go by, July may be a safe bet here however there is the likelihood of change if any decisions are made too early – for combat sports, the next UFC event won’t be held until June and it seems unlikely that there will be another week with three events held – there are also still the rumours of a fight island that have been promised too which may change the way these events are held but that’s yet to be seen – luckily this does mean that for some fans, at least, there’s still plenty to watch on the way.