UFC octagon girl Brittney Palmer has shown just how hard it is to know what to do in the coronavirus world, responding with a classy act at UFC 249.
The sole ring girl working the event due to social distancing guidelines, Palmer didn’t have to make the full trip around the octagon, instead holding up the card for the next round to keep some of the normalcy of the sport despite the fights going down in front of empty seats.
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One of the more high profile ring girls in the UFC, Palmer was chuffed to be back, sharing a picture on Instagram before the event with the caption “Hello old friend. Feels good to be back.”
On an eerie night with no fans in the stands, social media played its part in the broadcast.
A news reporter at Canadian news outlet 680 News was seemingly made uncomfortable with Palmer blowing kisses to the camera without wearing a mask — calling for Palmer to switch it up.
Dear @BrittneyPalmer @ufc – stop blowing kisses during a pandemic!!! Make a heart with your hands – easy peasy ❤️ pic.twitter.com/s7rd3OlSFt
With advice on best practices during the coronavirus pandemic circulated as easily as the virus itself, it’s hard to know what people find out of bounds as videos of people blowing kisses going viral during the pandemic as the world deals with enforced separation from family and friends.
Although it would be easy to ignore the advice while she was working, Palmer took it on board and switched it up.
She is AWESOME!!!! Such a class act!! @BrittneyPalmer pic.twitter.com/GjdV9WMn2G
It was a good move from Palmer, despite keeping up her social distancing at the event.
Post-fight Palmer shared her gratitude about being back ring side.
“I truly love this sport and love what I do,” she wrote.
“Those were some epic fights last night and exactly the show we all needed. People are asking how it felt with no audience while being by myself; no audience felt like we were on a movie set and being alone felt like the good ole WEC days.
“I’m just so happy to be back to work and grateful as heck.”
The 32-year-old Palmer is a fan favourite as she reportedly trended on Twitter after appearing on the broadcast.
With over 1.1m followers on Instagram, Palmer often posts bikini shots, workout videos and behind the scenes photos from her modelling career.
But the job hasn’t come without controversy.
Ahead of UFC 243 in Melbourne, Lord Mayor Sally Capp threatened to ban the Octagon girls as she claimed the tradition was “sexist and backward” as well as “outdated”.
But UFC president Dana White hit back at the comments and insisted the women were just as much a part of the show as the fighters.
“Our Octagon girls, they’re as much a part of the UFC brand as anyone, they’re ambassadors for our sport,” the 50-year-old told The Daily Telegraph.
“So for someone who has absolutely no education whatsoever about who these girls are — about what they do, what they mean to the UFC — to start going off, it’s ridiculous.
“So you can look at any sport you like, nobody treats women better than we do. And I’d suggest these people calling on them to be banned go have a look at what these girls do with the company, the type of money they’re making.
“Do that and you’ll realise these girls are as important to our brand as anyone else in the company. And that’s exactly the way we treat them.”
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