UFC provides blueprint for what sports might look like this year
The UFC 249 card is in the books, and we learned a lot about how sports will look this year if it exists.
There we no fans, nor will there likely be for a long time. But it was the process leading up to it that should provide some confidence for other events going forward.
The UFC tested over 1,200 times with 300 people. One fighter, Ronaldo Souza, tested positive, and his fight was called off. The rest, however, went off and watching it on TV, it looked like a normal card.
Dana White said the testing worked.
"It's not unexpected one person would test positive," he said. "The system works. And what's good about this is now we know Jacare tested positive, he's doing what he needs to do, and we're in a position to help him if he needs it."
The other sports where physical contact is necessary now have a blueprint: No fans, constant testing and as few people in the building as possible.
Sports like football, basketball and hockey are similar in that there is physical contact. But fighting limits it to the two combatants and the referee; that is impossible in the other sports.
Still, if they follow the UFC's example, games could conceivably be played. The real issue is what happens if several players on one team test positive? Is the entire team quarantined? Is the opponent they just played? The other issue is should tests be used for this when many people still don't have access?
Having said all that, the fights were a nice escape, something many of us could use right now.
White, for his part, has offered to share how they did things with other sports leaders. "We're willing to share our information with anybody," he told TMZ.
More sports will roll out over the next few weeks. NASCAR, Bundesliga soccer in Germany. The EPL could be back on June 1, but the league is still weighing whether or not it will. The choice is the same all of them will face - safety versus the need for normalcy.
"We want to get the seasons back going for the commercial reasons, for the moral reasons, for people to enjoy it," the head of the UK football police unit, Deputy Chief Constable Mark Roberts, told Sky Sports.
"But we have to remind ourselves that cannot be at the risk of putting a single further life at jeopardy."
The UFC has taken the first step. Now, others will follow. Let's hope it all works out.
- Coronavirus: UFC president Dana White says Khabib-Ferguson ... ›
- Even with no fans, UFC 249 still gave us everything we could have ... ›
- UFC 249: Twitter satisfied without fans, but what about other sports ... ›
- UFC 249: Ryan Spann reacts to fighting without fans: 'It's not weird at ... ›
- Justin Gaethje prevails at UFC 249, held with no fans - Los Angeles ... ›
- Dana White: UFC 249 Will Be 'Closed Event' Due to Coronavirus ... ›