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After months of shutdowns, some professional American sports are cautiously resuming, and testing the waters in what their worlds look like in a COVID-19 environment. UFC was among the first to return to live events, and so far, everything looks to be in order. That wasn't just coincidence or luck, however, as details behind the recent Las Vegas Fight Night have shown how the organization kept its staff safe from sickness.
The biggest change between a normal UFC event and this one was obvious, as spectators were not allowed and the crew was trimmed down to essential staff. The fighters and their teams were tested for coronavirus multiple times throughout the week of the event. The Las Vegas Sun added that the same rigorous testing was done on all essential personnel for the event, and that no one tested positive prior to the fight. After staff's final testing, they were sequestered in their hotels until the fight, as an extra precaution.
With presumably no infected individuals in the room during the Las Vegas UFC Fight Night, the organization was able to broadcast a night of exciting live fights on ESPN, and become one of the few professional sporting events in America in months to do so. UFC will continue to broadcast fights from the same location in Nevada in the next five weeks, and may gain additional fans as one of the few sporting events on television in a summer with no MLB so far.
It was an important event for American professional sports as organizations like the NBA (via New York Times) and MLB meet (via FoxBusiness) and discuss plans for how to move forward and resume their leagues. While the safety issues are the same, there's an added complexity because the NBA and MLB are tasked with also finding how to fairly resume seasons that were either postponed or delayed. That added element may make their returns a bit more difficult than it was for the UFC, which was still a challenge as well.
The Las Vegas fight night came after an exasperated UFC president Dana White expressed a desire to purchase a tropical island in which fighters could train and live events could be held in isolation, with presumably less American government jurisdiction. The current word as of late is that "Fight Island" is still a thing, though it appears White and the UFC are content to still hold fights on American soil and stay in accordance with current guidelines from the Nevada State Athletic Commission. The island is currently under construction, so fans may see it if a second wave hits and puts people worldwide back into lockdown.
UFC will be in Las Vegas yet again with UFC 250: Nunes vs. Spencer Saturday, June 6 with the main card starting at 10 p.m. ET. Continue to stick with CinemaBlend for all the latest news happening in the world of television and movies.