We are just a week+ away from the revamped UFC 249 and there are still so many questions that need to be answered. Where will the event be? Will fighters be tested for COVID-19? Who will be commentating the event. Besides stating there will be a secret location for the event on April 18 and a Fight Island, Dana White mentioned that Joe Rogan will be calling the event.
Rogan, one of the premier voices of the promotion, was previously unsure if he will be at the event. Now, he is just wondering what is going on with it in general.
“We don’t know where it is,” Rogan stated on his Joe Rogan Experience podcast. “I’m trying to figure out what I’m doing, if I’m going to it or not. I don’t know where it is, I don’t even know if it’s in America. I literally, right now, as of right now, I don’t know sh*t. I have no information.”
The UFC had to change the card and its events several times as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Dana has insisted that the show will go on and that fighters will be tested in some way or another. He believes everything will be OK. Rogan recently had Michael Osterholm, an infectious disease expert, on the podcast to talk about the seriousness of the virus.
Both discussed how different things can and will be. On his latest show, Rogan talked about the complexities of putting on a show when the world is practicing social distancing.
“There is no social distancing in a f*cking cage fight,” Rogan went on to say. “They’re on top of each other, sweating in each other’s mouths. If Tony Ferguson is fighting, there’s going to be blood for sure. Everybody that fights Tony Ferguson looks like they fell off of a train, so there’s going to be blood.
“What if one of those guys test postive? What if Justin Gaethje tests postive? Guy’s supposed to be fighting Ferguson. I have a feeling that if someone did test positive, they would… remove them from the card. I would image it has to be the right thing to do. You would also have to quarantine the people that worked with him in training camp. You have to test everybody.”
One of the main reasons for the concern, and the lack of understanding on what is happening, is a result of scrambling for a location for the event. The Nevada, New York and California Athletic Commissions have all barred combat sports from taking place, while several other states have ensured that fights were not going to happen. This was due to the impact of the coronavirus, which has postponed a number of sporting events.
The show will go on , according to Dana and the UFC. Rogan did bring up points as to why people, from fans to fighters to the media, may be questioning why the promotion is still attempting to put on events.
“It is very controversial, the whole thing is controversial,” said Rogan. “They don’t want anybody doing anything out of the norm of social distancing. We’re on lockdown right now. Vegas relies almost entirely on casino money… those casinos are shut the f*ck down. Can’t have fights in Vegas.”
UFC 249 will be shown on ESPN+ PPV.