Ryan Spann said it was “not weird at all” fighting before no fans at UFC 249.
The UFC made its long-awaited return Saturday in Jacksonville, Fla., with the fans kept away because of the COVID-19 crisis. Spann had the first taste of the behind-closed-doors spectacle at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena. He beat Sam Alvey by split decision.
After the fight, Spann was interviewed in the Octagon by commentator Joe Rogan, even though UFC vice president Craig Borsari told ESPN during the week that no postfight interviews would take place there.
“It’s not weird at all,” Spann said when asked about fighting without spectators (via ESPN). “I’ve been on ‘The Contender’ twice, so I’m good. I don’t like people — I do like people. I don’t like ’em a little bit. But it’s fine.
“It was nothing; like I said, I’ve been on ‘The Contender’ twice, so I’m ready for this.”
Tony Ferguson and Justin Gaethje headline Saturday’s event with their interim lightweight title clash. The card was initially scheduled for April 18 in Brooklyn, N.Y., and Ferguson was originally supposed to fight Khabib Nurmagomedov for the Russian’s lightweight title.