Count Ultimate Fighting Championship color commentator Joe Rogan among those who have no inside information about the upcoming UFC 249 card.
On Wednesday, Rogan spoke with MIT research scientist Lex Fridman on the “Joe Rogan Experience” podcast, where he discussed his knowledge or lack thereof regarding the April 18 event. Rogan explained in March that he was not going to call the event, and UFC President Dana White later disputed Rogan’s claim.
Rogan was quick to reiterate that he still has no knowledge of where the card will take place. Previous reports have stated that UFC 249 will be held at the Tachi Palace Casino in Lemoore, Calif. This venue is famously known as the host of the Tachi Palace Fights promotion, as well as the former home of World Extreme Cagefighting before the WEC was purchased by Zuffa in 2006.
“We don’t know where it is,” Rogan flatly stated. “I’m trying to figure out what I’m doing, whether 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 s---. I have no information.”
While the world observes social distancing in an effort to halt the spread of the coronavirus, Rogan knows that is completely impossible when two fighters are locked inside the Octagon.
“There’s no social distancing in a f---ing cage fight. Ok, they’re on top of each other, sweating in each other’s mouths….if Tony Ferguson’s fighting, there’s gonna be blood. For sure, everybody who fights Tony Ferguson looks like they fell off a train. So there’s gonna be blood.”
The veteran commentator has further elucidated his concerns about fight cards going forward in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. When talking about the risks from fighting, he posited the ramifications of if fighters test positive.
“What if one of those guys test positive? What if, you know, Justin Gaethje...[tests] positive? Guy's supposed to be fighting Ferguson,” Rogan considered. When responding to Fridman’s suggestion that it should be up to the fighter to choose to fight anyway, Rogan said frankly, “I don’t think they would allow it. I have a feeling that if someone did test positive, they would…remove them from the card. I would imagine it has to be the right thing to do. And then you would also have to quarantine the people that worked with him in training camp and you’d have to test everybody.”
Fridman expressed enthusiasm about the promotion pushing forward with fights, to which Rogan replied, “There’s a lot of people that are very upset with it. It’s very controversial, the whole thing’s controversial, because they don’t want anybody [to] do anything out of the norm of social distancing and of quarantining, and you know, we’re on lockdown right now.”
UFC 249 still officially has no location, although UFC President Dana White remains vigilant that the event will still take place on April 18. This card and several upcoming shows originally scheduled for the U.S. may all take place in this still undisclosed venue. The proposed private island, as referred to by Rogan as “Fight Island” reminiscent of the classic martial arts film “Enter the Dragon,” would be used for international fighters and events.
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