UFC’s Markus Perez serious despite wearing The Joker’s smile ahead of fight night

UFC’s Markus Perez serious despite wearing The Joker’s smile ahead of fight night
UFC fighter Markus Perez appeared during this weekend’s pre-fight weigh-ins with his face painted as the Batman villain “The Joker”. (WAM)
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Updated 11 October 2020

UFC’s Markus Perez serious despite wearing The Joker’s smile ahead of fight night

UFC’s Markus Perez serious despite wearing The Joker’s smile ahead of fight night
  • The Brazilian is scheduled to face South Africa’s Dricus Du Plessis on Sunday
  • Setting aside the dark humor of a sinister smile painted on his face, Perez said his act was not about trying to intimidate his opponents

DUBAI: UFC fighter Markus Perez appeared during this weekend’s pre-fight weigh-ins with his face painted as the Batman villain “The Joker” and ahead of UFC Fight Night: Moraes vs Sandhagen mixed-martial arts event Sunday evening.
The Brazilian is scheduled to face South Africa’s Dricus Du Plessis on Sunday at Abu Dhabi’s indoor live entertainment venue Flash Forum, state news agency WAM reported.
Setting aside the dark humor of a sinister smile painted on his face, Perez said his act was not about trying to intimidate his opponents, but was just a way for him to focus on his own game plan.
“I don’t put all this effort in and put on the face paint to intimidate my opponents. I do it because I identify with The Joker. The Joker is not about intimidation. If you read the DC Comics, he doesn’t stand out because of money or any superpowers, he stands out because of his intelligence,” Perez said.
“And I can relate to that. I like to use my intelligence, before and during a fight. You will see that from me in Octagon. I don’t have superpowers, but I fight intelligently, and it feels good,” he added.


Postponed Tokyo Olympics to cost extra $2.4bn

Updated 04 December 2020

Postponed Tokyo Olympics to cost extra $2.4bn

Postponed Tokyo Olympics to cost extra $2.4bn
  • The extra costs come as officials work to build enthusiasm for the first Games postponed in peacetime,
  • Tokyo 2020 said an additional $1.5 billion would be needed for operational costs related to the delay

TOKYO: The coronavirus-delayed Tokyo Olympics will cost at least an extra $2.4 billion, organizers said Friday, with the unprecedented postponement and a raft of pandemic health measures ballooning an already outsized budget.
The extra costs come as officials work to build enthusiasm for the first Games postponed in peacetime, insisting the massive event can go ahead next year even if the pandemic is not under control.
But more spending, on top of the previous budget of about $13 billion, could further harden public opinion in Japan, where polls this year showed a majority of people think the Games should be postponed again or canceled together.
“Whether it’s seen as too much or that we have done well to contain the costs, I think it depends on how you look at it,” Tokyo 2020 CEO Toshiro Muto told reporters.
“We have done all we can to earn the public’s understanding,” he added.
Tokyo 2020 said an additional $1.5 billion would be needed for operational costs related to the delay, with another $900 million in spending on coronavirus countermeasures.
The dollar figures are calculated at an exchange rate of 107 yen, and the total is around $2.56 billion at today’s rate. The costs look set to rise further, with Tokyo 2020 saying it would also release an additional $250 million in “contingency” funds.

The new spending swells a budget that was set last year at around $13 billion, and will add to disquiet about the cost of the Games after an audit report last year argued the national government was spending significantly more than originally planned.
The extra costs will be split between Tokyo, the organizing committee and the national government. The International Olympic Committee will not be chipping in, but has agreed to waive its sponsor royalty fee for the first time, organizers said.
The unprecedented decision to delay the Games has thrown up a plethora of extra costs, from rebooking venues and transport to retaining the huge organizing committee staff.
And with organizers committed to hosting the Games even if the pandemic remains a threat, extensive safety measures will be needed.
Tokyo 2020 this week released a 54-page plan they said would make it possible to hold the Games, including restrictions on athletes touching and fans cheering, and an infection control center in the Olympic Village.
Organizers have tried to scale back elements of the Games, offering fewer free tickets, scrapping athlete welcome ceremonies and making savings on mascots, banners and meals, but so far they have cut just $280 million in spending.
And on Thursday, they said 18 percent of Olympic tickets sold in Japan will be refunded, with domestic fans demanding their money back on about 810,000 of the 4.45 million tickets sold in the country.


Organizers hope to now resell those tickets, and demand for seats at the Games was high before the pandemic.
But enthusiasm has since waned, with a poll in July revealing that just one in four people wanted to see the event held in 2021, and most backing either further delay or cancelation.
Tokyo 2020 President Yoshiro Mori said the spending plan was carefully considered and he hoped people would accept it.
“If you have a drink, you could say your glass is half-full, or half empty. It depends on how you look at it,” he told reporters.
“There’s a rationale behind this plan. I hope the Japanese people will understand it.”
Tokyo 2020’s final price tag has been hotly disputed, with an audit report last year estimating the national government spent nearly 10 times its original budget between 2013-2018.
Organizers countered that the estimate included items not directly related to the Games.