UFC becomes first major sport to usher in fan-free, mask-filled era of professional sports.

  • UFC 249, the first major sport event to resume since coronavirus shuttered the country, was held without fans. It had originally been scheduled for April 18 in New York.
  • All personnel undergo Covid-19 testing before being allowed to enter the arena.
  • Jacare Souza tested positive for Covid-19 on Friday. His two cornermen also tested positive. His middleweight bout was cancelled.
  • Judges and broadcasters work from separate tables.
  • The cage floor is disinfected between bouts and pads are wiped clean.
  • Fighter Anthony Pettis described the feeling inside the ring. “It’s hard to assess without the crowd. When I land stuff, I hear the crowd and know it was a good one. This time, there was no crowd. I saw his head pop, but there was nothing behind it, so it’s hard to tell.”