UFC 286 plunged into darkness seconds before fight as lights go down in London
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UFC 286 was briefly paused on Saturday evening as the lights went out at The O2 – to leave fighters in darkness moments before their flyweight bout got underway.
With the undefeated Muhammed Mokaev set to face Jafel Filho on the opening bout of the preliminary card, the lights dimmed before almost going out completely with referee Herb Dean as confused as fans.
With those in attendance getting their phone lights in the air, a huge cheer came as the floodlights lit the Octagon with the fight getting underway. One fan wrote on Twitter: "Lights out at #UFC286. They should've let them fight in the dark. Haha!"
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Mokaev went on to survive a tight knee-bar before winning by neck crank in the third and final round.
The bout came after Veronica Hardy, Joanne Wood, Jake Hadley, Christian Leroy Duncan and Lerone Murphy on the early prelims, with Jai Herbert taking a draw against Ľudovit Klein.
UFC 286 was set to break all UK records in the build up to the bout, with Dana White hailing the support of UFC fans that made their two 2022 events so successful.
Which British fighter should headline in the UK later in the year? Tell us in the comments section below.
Speaking to Daily Star Sport back in December, the UFC president said: "I absolutely love our fans in the UK.
"Our fights there have been incredible and the atmosphere and energy the fans bring to the events makes it that much better."
White added on fight week that UK crowds are some of the best in any sport around the world, with Leon Edwards getting a huge reception at the pre-fight press conference.
With over 18,000 expected to be in the London arena, tickets sold out in seconds earlier in the year with many fans failing to get their hands on a seat.
Although White had considered bringing the show to a stadium, the Principality in Cardiff was the only realistic prospect due to it having a roof.
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