Like all fighters on Saturday’s UFC 249 card, Francis Ngannou had to endure a COVID-19 nasal swab test. He did not enjoy the experience.
Ngannou, who is one of the top contenders in the UFC heavyweight division, underwent his first COVID-19 swab test earlier this week. The experience, which involves ramming a cotton swab so far up the nasal passage that it looks like it probably tickles the brain, did not go over well with him.
In fact, he prefers getting punched by his fellow heavyweights.
‘I think I would rather take a punch than take that shit.’
— Andrew Whitelaw (@ASTJWhitelaw) May 7, 2020
Ngannou on COVD-19 test “It wasn’t good at all” #UFC249
— Amy Kaplan (@PhotoAmy33) May 7, 2020
“I think I would rather take a punch than take that shit,” he said during Thursday’s virtual UFC 249 media day (h/t Andrew Whitelaw).
“It wasn’t good at all,” Ngannou added (h/t Amy Kaplan).
Francis Ngannou is slated to battle Jairzinho Rozenstruik on the UFC 249 main card. The pair’s anticipated collision will likely produce the next man in line for a heavyweight title shot after champ Stipe Miocic and former champ Daniel Cormier settle their rivalry later this year.
Ngannou and Rozenstruik were originally expected to meet in the main event of UFC Columbus in late March. When that card was canceled, their bout was rescheduled for the originally scheduled UFC 249 card on April 18. When that card also fell through, they were relocated to the revamped UFC 249 card, which goes down this Saturday.
Ngannou has admitted that having such a lengthy and chaotic lead-up to a fight was difficult. It’s not clear whether that experience was better or worse than a COVID-19 nasal swab.
This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 5/7/2020.