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What sports are still on during coronavirus outbreak?

General view during the match played behind closed doors as the number of coronavirus cases grows worldwide REUTERS/Daniel Becerril

Amid a global pandemic, the sports world is in unprecedented territory. 

Athletic competitions that have been the escape of millions through wars, famines, and disasters, couldn’t escape the wrath of coronavirus. 

In North America, all the major active sporting leagues have been shut down or canceled. 

The NBA, MLS, and NHL seasons are suspended while MLB spring training is canceled and Opening Day is pushed back by at least two weeks. 

The NCAA has canceled its men’s and women’s basketball tournaments, nicknamed March Madness, while axing all spring competitions. 

Most major soccer leagues — including England’s Premier League, Spain’s La Liga, and Italy’s Serie A — have also been shut down. 

These were obviously the necessary precautions to take during such trying times. Canceling or postponing major sporting events protects players, personnel, and fans from being exposed in close quarters to a virus that has no cure.

The decisions have left a sizable void in the lives of sports fans around the globe, who are now scrambling to find their fix for an undetermined amount of time. 

But not all sporting events are canceled, which at least provides a temporary, minuscule glimmer of an escape from the bleakness that has manifested over society. 

Here’s a look at the leagues and organizations that are still trying to keep the doors open:

UFC

The rest of the sporting world’s ceasing of operations isn’t stopping UFC president Dana White from keeping the spotlight on the octagon.

Saturday night saw UFC Fight Night 170 go down at an empty Ginasio Nilson Nelson in Brazil where the five-fight card was headlined by Charles Oliveira’s third-round submission of Kevin Lee. 

Fight Night 171, scheduled for March 21, is still slated to play out, but it has to be moved from London due to coronavirus concerns. 

“We are working on finding a new venue, likely to be in the United States, and I have my matchmakers working on putting the undercard together,” White said (h/t The Independent). “I talked to the President and the Vice President of the United States about this and they’re taking this very seriously. They’re saying, ‘be cautious and be careful but live your life and stop panicking.'”

The main card for Fight Night 171 is a welterweight bout between Tyrone Woodley and Leon Edwards, from Birmingham, England. 

With Trump’s full travel ban going into effect on Sunday night, Edwards was advised to head to the United States quickly on Sunday afternoon.

Horse Racing

On Friday, Aqueduct Racetrack held races before an empty venue after large public gatherings were banned. 

So will be the theme around the world as some horse races are still being run behind closed doors. 

It remains to be seen, though, if the Kentucky Derby will still be run at its normally-scheduled time. 

“The Run for the Roses” is a spring institution as the first leg of the Triple Crown helps usher in the change of the seasons during the first weekend of May. 

It will decide in the next week whether or not it will run on May 2 or later in the year. 

Soccer

There is still some soccer being played around the world. 

Both Mexico’s Liga MX and Turkey’s Super Lig played this weekend without fans in attendance. 

That included the Istanbul derby between two of Turkey’s best teams, Galatasaray and Besiktas, as they jockey for top-four spots and a chance to play in European competitions next season. 

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