UFC Fight Night performed without audience

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An international outbreak of the coronavirus has caused numerous professional and amateur sports leagues to suspend operations and ban large crowds due to safety concerns. On Saturday, UFC Fight Night was performed without an audience in Brasilia, Brazil. UFC President Dana White was reportedly encouraged by both President Trump and Vice President Pence to continue with the scheduled events. Mixed martial artscol, whether utilized in a sold-out arena or an empty alley, is one-on-one warfare.

Knockout of the Night

The Co-Main Event of the evening finished with a mauling TKO by Gilbert Burns (18-3) over veteran Demian Maia (28-10). The referee stopped the bout at 2:34 in the first round. A left hook from Burns dropped the Brazilian and a rage of quick head strikes ended the contest. Burns, 33, called out former welterweight title contender Colby Covington after the fight.

Submission of the Night

Charles Oliveira (29-8) locked in a guillotine choke while defending a takedown in the main event against Kevin Lee (18-6). Referee Mike Beltran stopped the fight at 28 seconds in the third round. Oliveira has finished seven straight bouts and tied Daniel “Cowboy” Cerrone with 16 career finishes for the most in UFC history.

Lee missed weight (156 pounds) by over two pounds at Monday’s weigh-ins and protested the submission. The favored martial artist (-150) had ground control for over five minutes of the fight, but Oliveira displayed impressive striking that left Lee dazed prior to the choke. Six of Oliveira’s last nine contests have been finished with a victorious submission.

The Nevada State Athletic Commission announced during the main card that all combative sporting events would be suspended indefinitely through March 25 due to COVID-19.  UFC Fight Night: Woodley vs. Edwards is still scheduled for Saturday, March 21, but the main event has been scratched off the card as Edwards opted not to fly to the United States amid the international crisis.

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