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Charles Oliveira of Brazil secures a guillotine choke submission against Kevin Lee on March 14. Photo: Buda Mendes/Zuffa LLC

UFC held a fight on Saturday night in an empty arena in Brazil, becoming one of the few major professional sports leagues to continue live events in the wake of the World Health Organization declaring the coronavirus a pandemic.

Why it matters: “We’re not stopping,” UFC president Dana White said on ESPN. "We will keep finding a way to put on the fights. I’m in the fight business. I’ve been doing this for over 20 years, and this stuff happens to me every weekend — obviously not at this level.”

  • “Unless there’s a total shutdown of the country where people can’t leave their houses and things like that, these fights will happen,” he continued. “We will find venues and we will figure this out. The only thing that’s going to stop us is a complete government shutdown where people are confined to their homes.”

What to watch: White plans to hold four more fight cards over the next five weekends, including a highly anticipated April 18 matchup between lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson that has previously been canceled four other times.

Go deeper

Updated 5 hours ago - Technology

From Malcolm X to "Free Britney," new media shapes the justice system

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

True crime documentaries, podcasts and social media campaigns are bringing new attention to real-world legal proceedings — and are often affecting the outcome.

Why it matters: New media platforms can instantly put a national spotlight on cases that have long been forgotten or buried under red tape.

Updated 8 hours ago - Health

The next big bottleneck in the global vaccination effort

Illustration: Rae Cook/Axios

The world still needs more coronavirus vaccines, but an additional bottleneck has emerged in many low-income countries: They need help getting shots in arms.

Why it matters: Increasing vaccination rates across the world is both a humanitarian necessity and the best way to prevent dangerous new variants from emerging, but it increasingly requires complex problem-solving.

Updated 8 hours ago - Health

COVID-19 Omicron variant cases identified in Europe, U.K.

People wearing masks walk in London on Nov. 25. Photo: Li Ying/Xinhua via Getty Images

Health officials in the United Kingdom, Italy and Germany announced on Saturday that they've detected the first known cases of the new COVID-19 Omicron variant.

Why it matters: The discoveries come as the world scrambles to respond to concerns over the new variant, discovered in South Africa earlier this week.