Live sporting events have been one of the worst-affected sectors due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with virtually all sports coming to a grinding halt due to the need for social distancing and hygiene protocols. However, there are some sports which are taking steps to return even in the midst of the pandemic. Football, for example, has returned, with Germany’s Bundesliga returning to action a couple of weeks ago, and Spain’s La Liga and the English Premier League set to follow suit in June. At the same time, UFC is another sports brand which is itching to return, and fans who have been looking forward to it after a nearly two-month break may finally have some good news.
UFC was one of the first sports to stage events after the coronavirus outbreak, hosting three fight events over an eight-day stretch in early May, in Jacksonville, Florida. Following this, the sports body released an updated set of guidelines regarding COVID-19, ahead of its first event in Las Vegas this weekend. Athletes will undergo swab tests at the host hotel in the lead-up to the event, with them being required to self-isolate till the test results are available. They are not allowed to leave the hotel or have any contact with anybody outside of their designated team members. If test results are negative, they will be allowed to continue with their preparations for the weekend’s fights, but athletes who test positive will be restricted to their hotel rooms and will need to wait for further instructions from the UFC management. Athletes and their team members will be tested again following the weigh-ins, and will again need to self-isolate till those results are available. These stringent norms are designed to ensure the highest level of safety for athletes, their team members as well as everyone else associated with organizing and hosting the weekend’s events in Las Vegas, and it is the strictness of these guidelines which have played a major role in allowing UFC to be able to stage fights again. Fans are looking forward to having these fights back on their screens after a long break, and thus it is in everybody’s best interests that these norms are adhered to as strictly as possible.
Excitement has been building up for the UFC’s return, though, with a number of brands and organizations jumping on the bandwagon to promote the sport. A major contributor to this have been the best online casinos and bookmakers, who are glad to have the UFC back as it provides them with live sporting events to provide betting odds for, and Cloudbet, one of the biggest sportsbook operators, has been running a promotional campaign since mid-May to mark UFC’s return. The website has been offering in-play odds for UFC fights, allowing fans to be able to place bets between rounds, and has also teamed up with Relax Gaming to offer an MMA-themed slot game. The game, known as ‘It’s Time’, is by Bruce Buffer, one of the most legendary MMA ring announcers, and offers fans the chance to win up to 2500x their bet, while they wait for the actual action to begin on their screens. With the UFC ramping up and hosting more events in the near future, fans can expect more such events from Cloudbet, with the demand growing steadily ever since the UFC was able to stage live events again.
With the world slowly returning to a semblance of normalcy, live sports events are also returning, and the UFC is at the forefront of this, having been one of the first sports events to come back. Its popularity is growing steadily, and fans can look forward to a lot of action, both on their screens as well as online, with this weekend’s fights in Las Vegas.
Senior writer for FightBook MMA. An aspiring mixed martial arts reporter based in Ireland. Producer of news articles, interviews, opinion features, and exclusive features such as, ‘The Fallout’, ‘The Breakdown, and, ‘This Week In MMA’.
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