After UFC 248 on March 7, which served as the final event with fans, Brendan Fitzgerald headed on a plane to go to Brasilia. However, while he was in the air, the world changed.
As Fitzgerald was set to land in New York before going on another flight to Brasilia everything started to shut down. Sports leagues canceled championships and passed their seasons. For Fitzgerald, he wondered if he should even go on the plane to Brazil as he worried he would be stuck there.
“The world really shut down when I was on a plane, it was just crazy,” Fitzgerald said on Just Scrap Radio on BJPENN.com. “I flew from Las Vegas to New York and then New York to Sao Paulo and Sao Paulo to Brasilia. But, on that flight from Las Vegas to New York, I had live TV on watching Sportscenter and the news and that is when conference tournaments were starting to shut down. The first thing to hit was the Golden State Warriors said no fans and that was a massive deal. In the span of four hours, it was crazy how much things change. I land in New York, I call my boss and say should I get on this plane to Brazil.
“Once we are in the air, it is 10 hours and it is out of the country because they announced European travel was canceled. I was like this thing sucks but the last thing I want is me being stuck in Brazil,” Brendan Fitzgerald continued. “But, with Dana and Trump being cool I figured we would be able to get back in somehow. It was a nerve-wracking thing, masks were not a thing you traveled with.
“I’m in a crowded airport in Sao Paulo with no mask. You then start noticing how many people you interact with and how not careful we are with germs. It was nuts that weekend and I will always travel that experience,” Fitzgerald concluded. “Once we got to the hotel I tried to stay in my room as much as possible. It was scary because we don’t know anything. Now we know how to protect as much as we can.”
After the event, Brendan Fitzgerald landed back in Las Vegas to news the UFC as all sports leagues have canceled their upcoming events. The UFC commentator wondered if his job was over. But, Dana White and the promotion returned in May, and Fitzgerald became a big part of calling fights.
However, a hard part for Fitzgerald of calling fights during the pandemic is all the canceled fights. He realizes a lot of his research will go out the window, but knows he has to prepare for all the fights equally.
“The reality is it exists for all fights. It existed before the pandemic. I remember Rob Font was in Greenville and he was supposed to fight John Lineker. The night before weigh-ins the fight was off. At that point, all your research is done,” Fitzgerald concluded. “Now, you put together a fight card and the first thing is, well how many fights do we lose? I think the December 19 card was at like 16 fights and it ended up being 12. It is like you can’t say this fight is going to be canceled. Hopefully, I call their next fight because I’ve already done a lot of research. I don’t throw away the notes.”This article appeared first on BJPENN.COM