The UFC's event in Brasilia, Brazil, went on as scheduled on Saturday, but it was held in an empty Nilson Nelson gym.
There was the typical walkout music and introductions for the fighters, but no fans to acknowledge the athletes in the Octagon. Bea Malecki, who opened the card with a win over Veronica Macedo, said that fighting in a vacant facility brought about a strange feeling but also had its advantages.
"It was a bit weird, not having any fans inside the arena, but I was able to hear everything my coaches were saying, and it was good," Malecki said. "Sometimes it is so loud out there. It was a crazy week; we did not know if the fight was going to happen or not, but we stuck to the plan. It was really emotional."
Some of their peers watching the broadcast, including former two-division champion Daniel Cormier, took to Twitter to give their take on viewing the action without enthusiastic fans in attendance. Meanwhile, some athletes in other professional sports, like NFL running back Mark Ingram, and pro wrestling legend "Stone Cold" Steve Austin were happy to have an athletic event to watch.
Enjoyed the fights @ufc— Steve Austin (@steveaustinBSR) March 15, 2020
Thank you for being able to watch these fights tonight @ufc! Ain no fans but still some great scraps happening!!— Mark Ingram II (@markingram21) March 14, 2020
People at home and the 20 in attendance 😂😂😂 https://t.co/JUl1vOyi9k— michael (@bisping) March 14, 2020
Fighting in an empty gym is different. You will literally hear your heart beating #UFCBrasilia— KAMARU USMAN (@USMAN84kg) March 14, 2020
Will be interesting to see how the rest of #UFCBrasilia goes but so far loving the lack of boos n woos. All I can hear is the corner advice which is all I'd be interested in 🤷♂️ no crowds is the way to go haha— Coach Kavanagh (@John_Kavanagh) March 14, 2020
Now that we have no fans let's test open scoring lol no ones gonna throw things at the judges— Belal Muhammad (@bullyb170) March 14, 2020
Gotta say fighting with no live audience looks kind of enticing #UFCBrasilia— Angela Hill (@AngieOverkill) March 14, 2020
Silent @ufc is awesome— Sam Alvey (@smilensam) March 14, 2020