The outbreak of coronavirus disease COVID-19 has forced major sporting events, which sees a mass gathering of fans from across countries and beyond, to be closed off to the public, postponed or cancelled altogether.

In North America alone, major sports leagues that are in season have at least postponed their seasons, including the NBA, NHL, MLB, MLS and more.

Multiple MMA organisations have also been affected.

Earlier in the week, Polish promotion KSW announced that KSW 53, which was set to take place in Lodz, Poland, has been cancelled altogether.

The spread of COVID-19 has also affected this weekend’s MMA fights put on by the UFC and Bellator.


Bellator 241 to be held behind closed doors

Tonight, Bellator 241 will play out in an empty Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut as first reported by TSN’s Aaron Bronsteter. In fact, not even credentialed media will be able to attend the event in person.

Bellator 241’s main event is a featherweight title fight between Patricio Pitbull and Pedro Carvalho.

The event will still be broadcast live on television and streaming platforms as normal.


UFC Brasilia will go ahead, but closed off to the public

On Saturday night, the UFC is set to hold their third event in Brazilian capital city Brasilia.

However, due to an order from Brasilia governor Ibaneis Rocha which shut down all large gatherings until 16 March, UFC Fight Night 170 will take place in an empty Ginásio Nilson Nelson.

The main event of UFC Fight Night 170: Brasilia sees Kevin Lee take on Charles Oliveira in a lightweight clash.

You can read our preview of the fight here.


UFC Columbus and UFC Portland to move from those cities to Las Vegas amid coronavirus outbreak

As mentioned by UFC President Dana White on the above video, there is a lot of uncertainty around the future of certain UFC events and they could be moved from their host cities to the UFC Apex as an alternative.

UFC Columbus, which was scheduled to take place on 28 March, looks set to move from the state of Ohio to Vegas after Governor Mike DeWine ordered a ban on all large gatherings of over 100 people in a single space.

That event will be headlined by a heavy-hitting heavyweight bout between Francis Ngannou and Jairzinho Rozenstruik if it goes ahead.

What has been confirmed is that the upcoming UFC Fight Night event in Portland, due for 11 April, will now be held in the UFC Apex without fans in attendance.

Oregon Governor Kate Brown issued an order which prohibits large gatherings of 250 people or more.

That UFC Fight Night 172 card is also set to be headlined by a big heavyweight fight, pitting Alistair Overeem and Walt Harris.


All ONE Championship events to be held behind closed doors up until 29 May

BREAKING NEWS: My team and I have decided to turn all events for ONE Championship into closed-door, audience-free events…

Posted by Chatri Sityodtong on Thursday, March 12, 2020

ONE Championship CEO Chatri Sityodtong announced that all the Asia-based promotion’s upcoming events will also take place but closed off from the public until 29 May at the earliest.

This time period spans across five events which begins with their Heart of Heroes fight card that was originally due 20 March.

Instead, all upcoming ONE Championship fight cards will begin from April 17 and all of them will be held in Singapore behind closed doors.