The UFC held another fight card on Saturday night at its UFC Apex facility in Las Vegas, marking its first event since it held three in one week in Jacksonville, Florida, earlier this month.
Before it got going, however, it took a moment to honor George Floyd — the Minneapolis man who died in police custody on Monday, which sparked protests and riots across the country.
The UFC also honored former ringside doctor Albert Capanna, who also died this month.
The decision to honor Floyd, UFC president Dana White said, was an easy one.
“Because we should,” White said. “What happened was horrible and it’s something really affecting this country right now and the world. There’s riots going on everywhere, across the world, right now. It was the right thing to do.”
Floyd died in police custody on Monday, and video of his arrest quickly went viral. That video showed a white Minneapolis police officer with his knee in Floyd’s neck for seven minutes while Floyd yelled out, “I can’t breathe.” That officer, Derek Chauvin, has since been arrested and is facing murder and manslaughter charges.
Protests and riots have broken out in cities across the country in the days that followed. Countless prominent figures in the sports world have spoken out since Floyd’s death, too, and some have even joined in and led some of the protests.
Gilbert Burns picked up win over Tyron Woodley by unanimous decision at UFC Vegas on Saturday night, leaping him back into title contention. He’s now won six bouts in a row, pushing his record to an impressive 19-3. Protests were also in full swing in Las Vegas as that fight and others on the card were going on.
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