UFC 249 is rolling on and fans are having a ton of emotions about the first show without a crowd. Jacksonville, Florida is playing host to the event, but there’s just this expanse of empty space outside the octagon. VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena is as much of a spectacle for how strange this first show is without fans. Sam Alvey and Ryan Spann got things started tonight. Spann prevailed in a split decision and surprisingly got interviewed by Joe Rogan in the ring. Now, after all of the talk for the past week circling around the lack of a crowd and the interview protocol. But, here we are with Rogan going ahead with the conversations as normal. Most viewers aren’t minding that though as it adds some much-needed normalcy to the proceedings.
When the topic of conversation went to the empty arena, Spann told Rogan that it suited him just fine. “It’s not weird at all. I've been on 'The Contender [Series]' twice, so I'm good. I don't like people -- I do like people. I don't like 'em a little bit. But it's fine. It was nothing; like I said, I've been on 'The Contender' twice, so I'm ready for this."
Even more striking for some of the people watching at home, Rogan just stood next to the winner and then proceeded to shake Spann’s hand without gloves. Bruce Buffer, the announcer, was wearing a mask outside the cage and removed it to read the instructions and the results. Things got even more zany when the UFC broadcast team were shown for the people at home. Jon Anik, Daniel Cormier, and Rogan were all seated at separate announce tables away from each other. It’s all a deliriously strange affair, but people are just grateful to have something to watch at this point.
Was UFC 249 strange to watch for you? Let us know in the comments! Check out the responses below:
Photo Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
Call me crazy but I’m really liking the fights with the crowd noise muted. #UFC249— Kev (@Coach_Kevy) May 10, 2020
Ain't that the truth
These fights are so good! What an amazingly violent night. Its great to be watching fights again. Watching anything LIVE. Thank you, #ufc249— Ryan Drobel (@RyanDrobel) May 10, 2020
A lot of joy
WOW, SO HAPPY FIGHTS ARE BACK!!! #UFC249— kieran finlayson (@kestrelhawk1) May 10, 2020
They really pulled one of the greatest card of all time during this pandemic 😎 #UFC249— Simon (@Simonotaco) May 10, 2020
A much different experience
#UFC249 is already living up to its expectations and we’re only the second fight in! Can hear everything from the shots to the taunts & it’s only going to get better... I bloody love it! There’s something about the empty arena I kind of dig too.
Gassed the UFC is back!! ❤️— Kasim Ali (@ItsKasim) May 10, 2020
The lack of crowd noise is honestly making it hard to focus. It makes me sleepy lmao. #UFC249— Daniel Raza (@RazaJourno) May 10, 2020
#UFC249 is this live?? How is this allowed to happen— Princess Julie👑 (@julieeelx) May 10, 2020
Who forgot to put their phone on silent? #UFC249— Elok Musn (@CavemanGamingAU) May 10, 2020
Bold claim here
This is the best thing that's ever happened on TV since the lockdown.#ufc249— Amire Deji (@amiredeji) May 10, 2020
Maybe next time
Can they digitally put in some crowd noise in the background of UFC 249? #UFC249— brian (@BBelcourt77) May 10, 2020
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