UFC 249 marks the return for the sport
By James Braham
This article is exclusive to the Online Edition 5 of VARSITY News.
Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) has laid some groundwork in terms of sporting codes opening up their doors again but to no fans, as UFC 249 took place on May the 9th. It had been over just two months since suspension, due to the ongoing global pandemic of Covid-19.
It is a steppingstone in what some might call the ‘right direction’. Who would be a noteworthy supporter for the resumption of UFC protocol? None other than United States (US) President, Donald Trump.
Trump was significantly vocal for his admiration of UFC president, Dana White – “I want to congratulate Dana White and the UFC”. Trump’s remarks come as a result of a ‘ghostly’ sporting world amidst the pandemic. He has emphasised that there is a need to do the “social distancing” and “whatever else you have to do”, but that sport leagues must re-open for the interests of society.
“They’re going to have a big match. We love it. We think it’s important. Get the sports leagues back…We need sports. We want our sports back” – It is evident that the president is missing sporting platforms, but the allocation of “we” is used in favour of his own opinion. Danny Rose, an English footballer playing for Newcastle United in England, stated that he believed players are being used as ‘lab-rats’ for Covid-19. This emphasises that although the public might want sport back a soon as possible, players (and in this case ‘fighters’) are the ones that have to undergo strict regulatory measures such as testing every week, etc.
Jacare Souza, a middleweight fighter, had to cancel his scheduled fight with Uriah Hall after testing positive for the virus. However, even with this information being disclosed before Saturday’s fights, the UFC president didn’t shy away from his decision – “this isn’t just some crazy… this is a well-thought-out plan… we believe that we have this thing in a place where it can be safe as it can possibly be”.
Since then, fights have taken place with no crowds, behind closed doors. This is the reality for our current global society in terms of sport re-integration.