Coronavirus: Donald Trump hails return of UFC, saying ‘we want our sports back’

Adrian Ovalle

Donald Trump has actually hailed the first significant expert sports event in America after a two-month hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic as an “important” action – as US states start to reduce lockdown limitations.

UFC 249 started with a pre-recorded message from the United States president standing outside the White House in which he praised the blended martial arts organisation and its president, Dana White.

He stated: “We love it. We think it’s important. Get the sports leagues back. Let’s play. You do the social distancing and whatever else you have to do, but we need sports. We want our sports back.”

Justin Gaethje (L) throughout his Interim light-weight title battle with Tony Ferguson

The battles took location without fans at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida, on Saturday night and were transmitted on ESPN.

It was the first of 3 occasions, with the next 2 prepared for 13 and 16 May.

“These events will be closed to the public and will be produced with only essential personnel in attendance,” the UFC stated in a declaration on its website.

‘ We like it – we believe it is essential’

White added: “My team is ready to go and the fighters are excited to get back in there with these back-to-back events.”

Nevertheless, the event did not pass without debate after one fighter, Jacare Souza, and his 2 cornermen evaluated favorable for COVID-19

Ryan Spann commemorates after beating Sam Alvey after their Light heavyweight battle

Though asymptomatic, the UFC stated Souza and those impacted had actually left the host hotel and would be from another location kept an eye on as they self-isolate.

The display still proceeded with strict coronavirus health and safety procedures in location.

Those enabled into the arena – fighters, UFC personnel, fitness instructors, referees, broadcasters and judges – went through COVID-19 screening and social distancing procedures were imposed. Some used face masks.

The octagon cage was frequently sanitized and cleaned down.

UFC President Dana White stated the health and safety procedures dealt with the night

White stated later on that Souza’s favorable test revealed “the system worked”.

“The whole world is weird; this whole event is weird. We live in a different world than we did two months ago, and the bottom line is the system worked,” he informed the post-event press conference.

” The system is that you want to discover people. What you do not want to do is state 2 days after the battle is that Jacare evaluated favorable, you understand. It worked – the system worked that we put in location.

” The method this went, we will simply improve. We will be much better by Wednesday, then much better by Saturday, then after Saturday we will start to capture our stride and get this thing called in and determined.

“The longer this goes, the better testing technology will get, and the faster it will get. We are going to prove by next Saturday that professional sports can come back safely.”

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