There will not be any fans in the building for Saturday night’s UFC Brasilia card.
On Thursday, Brazilian publication Combate reported that the UFC has converted the card to a closed-door event amid growing concerns surrounding the coronavirus.
UFC officials have not yet confirmed the news.
COVID-19, which began over in China towards the end of 2019, has now experienced a rapid spread to every single corner of the globe. Multiple countries have been forced into a situation where they must suspend or outright cancel big sporting events, with others believed to be on the verge of doing the same.
On Wednesday, Governor Ibaneis Rocha declared a ban on all large gatherings with the Brazilian capital’s first cases being confirmed.
The UFC Brasilia card is not the first sporting event to be altered by this pandemic.
The NCAA announced that the upcoming men’s and women’s tournaments, also known as March Madness, will be played behind closed doors, whereas Italy’s Serie A and the NBA have both suspended play indefinitely.
Governor Mike DeWine in Ohio announced that it is likely large gatherings in the state will be banned, throwing UFC Columbus into doubt also. The UFC Portland, UFC London and UFC 249 cards are also at risk, although there has been no official announcement from the promotion up to this point regarding the direction they’ll be going in.
The scheduled main event for this Saturday’s UFC Brasilia event in the Brazilian capital is Kevin Lee vs Charles Oliveira, with the entire card being praised by fans and pundits alike as one of the best of the year thus far. Unfortunately, there will be no fans in the building to enjoy it.
This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 3/12/2020.