On Tuesday, the UFC announced a couple of COVID-19 protocols to assist in the safety of the company, audience, and fighters for the UFC 261 pay-per-view.
With the event selling out in just a few minutes, it was clear that handling a packed arena of 15,000 fans during the COVID-19 era would take a nuanced approach. The event will stand as the first combat sporting event to hold a full capacity crowd since COVID-19 began. The audience will be held inside the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Fla. To the surprise of many, the company is introducing a new COVID-19 monitoring system and the event will not require face masks.
UFC 261 – New Partnerships and No Masks Required
UFC has announced a partnership to help combat the virus and provide a safe atmosphere for everyone involved. Specifically, the promotion will now be working with CLEAR and their Health Pass technology. In essence, the tool would be utilized by the fan, and after registering, they will be securely linked to a database, and provided with a confidential COVID-related health questionnaire. All ticket holders will be required to enter their information into the database in advance.
Also, an important note is those ticket holders who exclude themselves from CLEAR and Health Pass will still be able to complete a hard-copy form upon arrival to the event.
Not only has the UFC partnered with CLEAR but they also linked up with O2 Industries in an effort to provide masks to the public, employees and fighters. Overall, it seems the UFC is taking safety quite seriously leading up to their first event with a full crowd.
At UFC 261, Jorge Masvidal will look to avenge his loss to the champion Kamaru Usman, but the card is star-studded with two other title fights. With Valentina Shevchenko looking to remain the queen of the flyweight division and Weili Zhang trying to establish her strawweight reign, this event has something for everyone.
Do you believe the UFC took the appropriate measures to help provide a safe environment for fighters and fans at UFC 261? What would you change?