Despite COVID-19 Pandemic, Joe Rogan Conducted Interviews at UFC 249
Rogan conducted in-ring interviews without a mask or gloves
UFC became the first big sport in the United States to return to action on Saturday night, hosting UFC 249 in Jacksonville, Florida, with no fans in attendance. Despite the company outlining safety restrictions to protect against the spread of the coronavirus, UFC commentator and interviewer Joe Rogan held post-fight interviews in the ring while notably not wearing a protective mask or gloves.
In the lead-up to UFC 249, Rogan had been vocal about what he felt were excessive safety protocols, given the rigorous testing that everyone in the company underwent before the event:
We’re all tested. That’s what doesn’t make any sense. Not only are we all healthy and fine, we’re tested. We’re clean. We don’t have it. We don’t have to be far apart from each other.
And after the event, Rogan said as much to ESPN, explaining that he chose to do the interviews because he was confident no one had the virus:
It didn’t make any sense to me if everybody’s been tested and everybody’s clean, no one has the disease. I’ve been tested, they’ve been tested. I want to see them. When I’m doing an interview with a fighter, after a spectacular performance like Justin Gaethje’s fight, I want to look him in the eye.
Of course, even with the testing conducted prior to the event, the coronavirus still found its way into the UFC; Ronaldo “J’acare” Souza tested positive, leading to his fight against Uriah Hall being scratched from the card.
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