The Ultimate Fighting Championship is moving forward with its plans to hold UFC on ESPN+ 28 at Ginasio Nilson Nelson in Brasilia, Brazil this weekend, but it is going to be a unique atmosphere for the fighters when they step into the cage.
According to a report from Brazilian news outlet Combate, UFC on ESPN+ 28 will be held without fans behind closed doors due to the ongoing novel coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic.
The UFC has also canceled a media day scheduled for Thursday along with the ceremonial weigh-ins on Friday evening. The official weigh-in, however, will still take place as planned at the host hotel.
It will be interesting to see if the ongoing pandemic impacts future UFC events which include the UFC 249 pay-per-view featuring Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Tony Ferguson for the lightweight championship.
The UFC on ESPN+ 28 fight card can be seen below.
MAIN CARD (ESPN+, 8:00 p.m. ET)
- Kevin Lee vs. Charles Oliveira
- Gilbert Burns vs. Demian Maia
- Damir Hadzovic vs. Renato Moicano
- Nikita Krylov vs. Johnny Walker
- John Makdessi vs. Francisco Trinaldo
PRELIMINARY CARD (ESPN+, 5:00 p.m. ET)
- Jussier Formiga vs. Brandon Moreno
- Randa Markos vs. Amanda Ribas
- Aleksei Kunchenko vs. Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos
- Enrique Barzola vs. Rani Yahya
- Maryna Moroz vs. Mayra Bueno Silva
- David Dvorak vs. Bruno Silva
- Veronica Macedo vs. Bea Malecki
The coronavirus outbreak has led to the cancellation or postponing of many large events including the NBA regular season, Coachella, SXSW, the Winter X Games, Stagecoach, Ultra Music Festival in Miami, and more. The NCAA also announced the 2020 men’s and women’s basketball tournaments will be played without fans.
In the United States, coronavirus cases have topped 1,000 across 34 states with at least 32 deaths — most of the deaths in the state of Washington.
The coronavirus mainly comes from animals and a majority of those who were infected early either worked at or frequently visited the Huanan seafood wholesale market in Wuhan, according to The Guardian. The virus is similar to Severe acute respiratory syndrome (Sars) and Middle Eastern respiratory syndrome (Mers).
The Wuhan coronavirus is transmitted from person to person through “droplet transmission.” That means an infected person can pass the virus by sneezing or coughing on another person as well as by direct contact.
While a majority of the cases have been detected in China, it has now reached many countries around the world including the United States. It has also been confirmed in Italy, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, and many other eastern countries.