The UFC has been forced to make major adjustments during the coronavirus pandemic, but that hasn’t stopped fighters from delivering inside the octagon.
Since UFC on ESPN+ 28 on March 14, the promotion has carried eight other events behind closed doors, with five of them taking place in the 25-foot octagon at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas.
There’s something about that smaller cage that has resulted in increased action, faster finishes and absolute wars, as the fans watching at home have been treated to some of the best fights in recent memory.
Here are the five best we’ve seen during the pandemic.
UFC 249: Tony Ferguson vs. Justin Gaethje
There was no doubt this fight would deliver, but few imagined it would be as one-sided as it was.
Ferguson was on a 12-fight winning streak going into the fight and was initially scheduled to face Nurmagomedov before the fight fell through yet again.
After suffering back-to-back stoppage losses to Eddie Alvarez and Dustin Poirier, Gaethje turned things around by stopping his next three opponents all in the first round.
Gaethje’s less gung-ho approach ended up paying dividends once again as he was able to dominate Ferguson for the most part with his superior boxing before eventually stopping him in the fifth round. Ferguson’s durability and cardio made this an entertaining battle, as he continued to press forward despite taking a plethora of Gaethje’s best shots.
Ferguson was even able to badly rock Gaethje with a beautifully timed uppercut at the end of Round 2, but “The Highlight” made the right kind of adjustments to take over the remainder of the fight. As well as the interim title, Gaethje earned two bonus checks for his efforts on the night, picking up his eighth and ninth bonuses in just seven UFC fights.
nt" This was originally published on www.mmajunkie.com