UFC Continue as Scheduled, Charles Oliveira Submits Kevin Lee in Main Event
BarnBurner Sports Writer
Sunday, March 15, 2020
Brasilia, Brazil--- The UFC held their Fight Night card on Saturday night however, it was in an empty arena with just UFC personnel, fighters and their respective camps that were allowed in the building.
The COVD-19 pandemic had forced all major sports leagues including the NBA, NHL, and MLS to suspend their respective seasons for the time being in order to avoid the spread of the disease. The only two sports and entertainment promotions to continue with their scheduled shows have been the UFC and WWE.
On Friday, Bellator President Scott Coker intended on having the Bellator event featuring Bellator the two quarter-final Featherweight Grand Prix bouts with no spectators at the Mohegan Sun Casino, however a few hours before the event, he made the decision to postpone it and compensated everybody on hand for their time and efforts.
Many felt the UFC may follow suit, but the promotion continued with their event and it provided fans with some entertainment and saw new contender emerge in the main event.
Charles Oliveira defeated “The Motown Phenom” Kevin Lee with an impressive submission and made it known that he should be next in line for a lightweight title opportunity. Oliveira did an excellent job sticking to his game plan and then took advantage of a favorable position in the third round, when he locked in the guillotine choke.
With the win, Oliveira is definitely in the discussion in a deep lightweight division. An immediate title shot against the winner of the Khabib Nurmagomedov vs Tony Ferguson bout is unlikely, but a title eliminator bout with a top ranked lightweight like Justin Gaethje or Dustin Poirier could be a possibility.
This will likely be the last time fans see Lee competing at lightweight as he missed weight and as a result, had to forfeit a percentage of his fight purse to Oliveira. Based on his past weight cutting issues, it may be best for Lee to move back up to welterweight and work his way up the rankings as opposed to taking another fight at lightweight and risk missing weight and having to forfeit a larger percentage of his purse.
It is unknown how many more UFC events will take place as scheduled, but UFC President Dana White has been committed to relocating events and broadcast them with no spectators for the time being.
Photo Credit: (ESPN MMA @espnmma)