On Saturday night, President Donald Trump congratulated UFC for restarting the sports world after a nearly two-month hiatus.
“I want to congratulate (UFC President) Dana White and the UFC, They’re going to have a big match. We love it. We think it’s important. Get the sports leagues back. Let’s play. Do the social distancing and whatever else you have to do. We need sports. We want our sports back. Congratulations to Dana White and UFC” Donald Trump said.
UFC is the only sports which served as the major sporting event take place since the global pandemic shut it down nearly eight weeks ago. It was originally scheduled on 18 April but dur to spread of coronavirus it was postponed.
On Friday, The UFC came up with a 25-page document to address health and safety protocols, procedures that led to Jacaré Souza testing positive for COVID-19. His middleweight bout was cancelled. The UFC said in a statement that Souza’s two cornermen also tested and found positive.
The positive results surely increased the focus on the event. White said that Trump wants the event to serve as a blueprint for the return of live sports. He tried to host the event in California and still hopes to create a “Fight Island” for future cards.
To get inside Veteran Memorial Arena Fighters, trainers, referees, judges, UFC staff and even outside media had to undergo from covid 19 testing.
Souza arrived with wearing gloves and a mask while he awaited his test results. But he had alerted UFC officials that a family member in Orlando, where he was testing, might have tested positive for the coronavirus. His opponent, wore a mask and kept his distance. White stood without a mask.
Referees, ring announcer Bruce Buffer, other officials inside the octagon and the ring girl were unmasked. The cage floor was disinfected between bouts, and the padded parts of the octagon were wiped down between rounds.
Without fans, every kick, punch and grunt sounds were echoed in a hall. Commentators and camera clicks could be heard across the way.
“I don’t like people anyway,” said Ryan “Superman” Spann, who got a victory in the opening bout. “It’s fine. It was nothing. The world is my audience.”