While we’ve all missed having live sport at our usual disposal, it was certainly weird to see a UFC event take place without any fans in attendance.
UFC 249 went down in Jacksonville, Florida on Saturday night and it brought the same level of violence as usual.
There was a few things missing, though. For instance, there was no punch stats for the commentators to use during the fights. It was essentially guess work.
Fighters still had their entrances, though, and they also had their post-fight interviews.
Infact, Joe Rogan’s narrowly avoided a hilarious slip up during his interview with Ryan Spann after he beat Sam Alvey on the early prelims.
At the close of the interview, Rogan almost said his patented, ‘Ryan Spann, everybody’ but visibly caught himself slipping because there was no fans in attendance to applaud!
Old habits die hard and all of that!
The UFC prelims were littered with quality fights with Vincent Luque and Niko Price kicking things off the right way.
That fight had to finish via doctor’s orders after Price’s eye was beaten shut and that set the bar for the rest of the evening.
Former UFC Women’s Strawweight champion Carla Esparza claimed a dour victory over Michelle Waterson, a decision that many online felt the judges may have gotten wrong.
Aleksei Oleinik squeezed past former UFC heavyweight champion Fabricio Werdum in another tight contest, but the Russian’s early work in the fight appeared to get him over the line.
The climax of the prelims saw Donald Cerrone – in his first outing since being demolished by Conor McGregor in January – rematch with Anthony Pettis seven years after their first duel.
Showtime Pettis claimed the victory with a clean sweep from the judges, a decision that even bemused the victor as he said ‘what the f***’ openly after the announcement’!