The UFC is continuing to march forward with events as just about all of the sporting world has come to a halt amid the coronavirus pandemic. UFC Fight Night 170 from Brasilia, Brazil, is set to go on with an empty arena as lightweights Kevin Lee and Charles Oliveira headline the event.
Only essential personnel will be allowed inside the arena on Saturday night, including cornermen, trainers, judges, referees and broadcasters.
Were the above not already an unusual enough situation, Lee missed the two-hour window to weigh in for the fight on Friday morning. After the window closed, Lee stepped on the scales reportedly weighing 158.5 pounds. He did not continue to cut weight and will forfeit a percentage of his purse to Oliveira.
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Lee is coming off a head-kick knockout of Gregor Gillespie at UFC 244, a win that snapped a two-fight losing skid and set him up with a fresh round of hype after a 1-3 stretch that saw "The Motown Phenom" lose fights against Tony Ferguson, Al Iaquinta and Rafael Dos Anjos.
Oliveira enters the fight riding a six-fight winning streak, with each win coming by stoppage. The winning streak began in June 2018, coming after a 3-4 run from 2015 though 2017. Oliveira holds the record for most submissions by any fighter in UFC history and has won 14 performance bonuses in his Octagon career.
This card also marks the return of some prominent Brazilian fighters. Brazilian Jiu jitsu legend Demian Maia is back in the co-main event against another Brazilian making his rise at welterweight in Gilbert Burns. The 42-year-old veteran has quietly gotten on a three-fight win streak as he heads toward the end of his legendary career. Burns, meanwhile, has won four straight and six of his last seven since 2018.
Plus, fast-rising prospect Johnny Walker is back when he takes on veteran Nikita Krylov. Walker saw his meteoric rise come to a screeching halt in November when he was battered in a first-round TKO loss to Corey Anderson. He can bounce back in a big way with a win over Krylov, who is coming off a decision loss to Glover Teixeira in September 2019.
Plus, the always dangerous Renato Moicano makes his lightweight debut against Damir Hadzovic. Moicano worked his way up to the top five at featherweight, but a pair of knockout losses to Jose Aldo and Korean Zombie forced a change in strategy for the Brazilian fighter. Hadzovic enters the fight 3-2 since 2017 with two knockouts in that time.
Among the changes that have impacted the event, the start time was shifted from 5 p.m. to 3 p.m. ET, with all fights streaming on ESPN+ as well as airing on ESPN, which is picking up the fights as fewer and fewer live sporting events are taking place across the world.
Here's the fight card for UFC Fight Night 170 with the latest odds from William Hill Sportsbook.
UFC Fight Night 170 card, odds
Kevin Lee -140
Charles Oliveira +120
Gilbert Burns -180
Demian Maia +155
Johnny Walker -150
Nikita Krylov +125
|Renato Moicano -400||Damir Hadzovic +300||Lightweight|
|Francisco Trinaldo -170||John Makdessi +145||Lightweight|
UFC Fight Night 170 viewing information
Date: March 14 | Start time: 3 p.m. ET
Location: Ginasio Nilson Nelson -- Brasilia, Brazil
TV Channel: ESPN | Stream: ESPN+
Kevin Lee vs. Charles Oliveira: Lee struggling with his weight cut has thrown the view of the fight off, as has the removal of fans from the arena, which takes away the "home cage" advantage for Oliveira. If Lee's cut was as hard as it seems, there are a number of problems that could be at the root. Lee has found himself a submission victim in the past and Oliveira has the most submissions in UFC history. This is all starting to paint a picture that doesn't go in Lee's favor. Pick: Oliveira via SUB2