Then, the world stopped.
The NBA suspended play; the MLB shutdown Spring Training; March Madness was canceled; The Masters were delayed.
But the UFC kept going.
Plenty of people saw Dana White’s response to criticisms from the media. And I’m not here to pick sides or to say what is right, and what is wrong. All I know is that the UFC provided some much-needed entertainment during a very dark time.
Less than two months after the NBA was shut down, the UFC found solace in Jacksonville, Florida, and hosted their first pay per view event since the pandemic began, UFC 248.
It was an outstanding night of fights. Henry Cejudo defeated Dominick Cruz (and then "retired"). Francis Ngannou knocked out Jair Rozenstruik in 20 seconds. Anthony Pettis defeated Cowboy Cerrone. And the night finished in delightful fashion as Justin Gaethje and Tony Ferguson competed for the UFC interim lightweight title.
Gaethje looked spectacular. It all came together for him that night. He was, as always, tough as nails, he always had wicked cardio, and we all knew he could throw bombs.
What we didn’t know was how well he could devise and execute a game plan.
It was a damn-near perfect showing and my selection for the performance of the year.