There’s no denying that combat sports can be amongst the most exciting sporting events that take place, the high risk nature of them is entertainment in itself, however many changes that have taken place due to the coronavirus pandemic could lead to changes in the sport that only enhance the excitement of them – whilst many may only be short lived, it could lead to future adjustments.
No fans has shown a number of possibilities
This will be something that will certainly change very quickly as organisers are keen to get fans back in the stands, but if you’ve watched any of the recent UFC events, not having fans in attendance is quite a surreal experience. Being able to hear every strike that lands, the fighters talking to each other, and the coaches in the corner can be quite exciting – and will provide a new interesting dynamic to boxing too if we see that in the near future. This change could lead to opportunities such as coaches being mic’d up, or microphone placement within the octagon and ring to hear what fighters are saying or to hear strikes land, it’s very different, but also quite cool too.
A progression in betting
These big combat sports are most widely known for their PPV sales and reliance on betting and tickets to judge how successful an event has been, without the gate to measure attendance, betting has been a sure fire way to do so – there have been recent changes in regulation such as within Gamstop in the UK which had been aimed at reducing participation options for players, despite this there are a growing number of sports betting sites not on gamstop that may provide opportunities given these slightly stranger times – new odds, new betting options, an exciting time all around.
New locations, better judging
Something that has plagued combat sports for the longest time is within commission and judging rules, something that has really been brought to attention lately. Change is being seen within MMA recently as the UFC announced fight island and its desire to hold a growing number of events there, and by moving away from US based commissions and their judging rules there’s the potential to make many decisions a lot more fair, and avoid the controversy around bad scoring that has been made an example as of late.
We’ve already seen a number of UFC events to get the ball rolling, so the next step will be the see boxing return as fans eagerly await the Joshua fight, there could be some interesting differences in boxing dynamics as we’ve already seen in other combat sports – as mentioned many of these changes such as the fan attendance will only be short lived, but if they’re able to trigger a more permanent change, it could lead to differences in the sport that define a new era, whilst also adjusting many of the problem areas that have been identified over the years.