Sights and sounds of UFC Brasilia taking place in empty arena

As sports leagues all around the world hit pause on their seasons amid concerns over spreading the COVID-19 virus which has gripped the planet, UFC pressed on, opting to host UFC Brasilia in an empty arena Saturday night.

The decision to go against the sports world’s collective mindset, according to UFC president Dana White, came about in part following a conversation he had with President Donald Trump and Vice-President Mike Pence.

“I talked to the president and the vice-president of the United States about this,” White told ESPN. “They’re taking this very serious. They’re saying, `Be cautious, be careful, but live your life and stop panicking.’”

Due to recommendations against hosting large gatherings, only referees, judges, media and essential stadium staff were on hand to witness Saturday night’s event in Brasilia, and the resulting atmosphere was nothing short of eerie.

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