On Tuesday, the Ultimate Fighting Championship announced two partnerships to assist in fan safety for those attending Saturday’s UFC 261 pay-per-view. The event sold out the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Fla. in minutes. The event represents the first, sold out, major sporting event with full capacity at an indoor arena in the United States since the pandemic lockdowns and restrictions. A capacity crowd of more than 15,000 fans is expected.
The fight promotion has partnered with CLEAR and their Health Pass to connect fan identity with a securely linked, confidential COVID-related health questionnaire. All ticket holders are required to complete this questionnaire in advance. Ticket holders who opt not to use the electronic version of CLEAR will be directed to a kiosk outside of VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena to complete a hard copy of the health questionnaire.
Depending on their COVID-related health information, fans are issued a red or green notification on their Health Pass app. Ticket holders who receive a red notification will not be permitted entry and will be advised to seek medical guidance, as well as information on how to obtain a refund.
Along with CLEAR, UFC has also partnered with O2 Industries to provide face coverings, free of charge, to the fans attending. Fans will be offered the face coverings by UFC event staff as they enter each arena. UFC encourages fans to wear face masks at the event, but masks are not mandatory.
UFC and O2 Industries are also partnering to donate more than 5,000 Tactical Respirator I (TRI) premium respirators to the American Red Cross for their use as needed in emergency situations.
UFC 261 features three world title bouts. In the main event, welterweight champion Kamaru Usman faces Jorge Masvidal in a rematch, while women’s strawweight champion Zhang Weili puts her belt on the line against former titleholder Rose Namajunas. The third title bout on the fight card features women’s flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko facing former strawweight champion Jessica Andrade.