If you haven’t been paying attention to the current small world of combat sports then your missing out on some of the best fights that have ever been showcased by the UFC. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the world has yet to receive much combative sporting entertainment, however since the end of May, 2020, the UFC has brought the action to television, holding events in empty arenas complying with the social distancing regulations. They are testing their fighters, coaches, and even commentators on a regular basis under very strict guidelines ensuring the virus doesn’t spread while under their watch. Given the circumstances which invited the additional necessary requirements, these extra hoops to have to jump through doesn’t seam to have much effect on the fighters performances. Matter of fact, the fights have been consistently better since the airing of the fights in the empty arenas. Not to say the fights weren’t great before, but there’s just been something about that UFC Apex center in Las Vegas, Nevada, where these fighters are putting on Fight of the Night performances for just about every fight, even in the preliminary bouts. We all thought the Weili Zhang and Joanna Jędrzejczyk fight would be it, however after seeing the past couple weeks of fights, it’s possible there will be more Fight of the Year contenders. What’s even more amazing is everyone can now hear how hard the fighters shots are when they land. The loud smacking sounds, when a fist makes contact, echoing throughout the empty arenas are sending different kinds of vibrations throughout the universe. These fighters are leaving everything inside that UFC octagon with a close up personal feel of the events, as opposed to the loud cheers from fans at times which are sometimes biased applause, depending on the fighters.
Part of this great “issue” maybe the fact there is a forced isolation allowing the fighters to train harder with a sense of more hunger and urgency. During these times, no one really knows what’s going to happen from one week to the next, however most of these fighter’s mentalities have been set to push the pace to try to win at all costs. The world’s chips are down right now, and UFC is the only spot throwing out bets, giving opportunities for fighters to come home with some cash and extra win bonus money. Part of the mentality going into these fights is knowing the winner gets double the amount with the possibility of more, depending on how well one can finish the fight. When both fighters facing each other on any given night are both setting intentions to win, then we’re in for a very entertaining event among two warriors that will not give up. Sometimes a large crowd can adjust one’s energy either in a positive or negative aspect, depending on the fighter, so I’m curious how these performances would have played out, had there been an audience?