Most of the major sports organizations, including the UFC, have had to bear the brunt of the Covid-19 pandemic in the past year.
However, the Dana White-led company was also the first in the world to resume live sports action after being shut for nearly two months. Conducting events in arenas closed for the public, the UFC slowly revived the world of combat sports.
It took well over a year for the promotion to announce the return of a full-capacity crowd at one of their events, that being UFC 261: Usman vs. Masvidal 2.
In 2021, there has been a slew of fights that thoroughly entertained the fans, while some exciting bouts never came to fruition, thanks to Covid-19.
In this article, we’ll take a look at five such intriguing fights that never transpired due to the fatal virus which has gripped the majority of the world
#5. Raoni Barcelos vs. Raphael Assuncao (UFC Vegas 20)
Raoni Barcelos was expected to take on Raphael Assuncao at UFC Vegas 20 in February. While Barcelos had established himself as one of the most exciting fighters in the bantamweight division, Assuncao was struggling to climb the ranks, having lost three of his previous fights.
The Brazilian duo, however, never got a chance to share the octagon as Assuncao tested positive for COVID-19 five days before their scheduled fight. Had the bout successfully taken place, MMA fans could have had a potential Fight of the Night on their hands.
Barcelos, best known for his explosiveness and crisp striking, was on a nine-fight winning streak back then. The 34-year-old possesses the ability to relentlessly push the pace of fights, which usually exhausts his opponents.
However, things would have probably been different for him while exchanging blows with someone like Assuncao, who is highly durable with an endless gas tank.
Ever since he joined the UFC in 2012, 13 of Assuncao’s fights have gone the distance. He holds victories over the likes of Marlon Moraes, Rob Font, Aljamain Sterling, Pedro Munhoz, Jorge Masvidal and T.J. Dillashaw.