Joe Rogan has now shared his thoughts on the cancelation of the UFC 249.
UFC 249 was scheduled for April 18. The card was originally expected to occur in Brooklyn, New York, but amid tightening restrictions enacted to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, it was moved to tribal land in California. As it turns out, not even this could save UFC 249. Amid growing pressure from ESPN, parent company Disney, and even some politicians, UFC President Dana White announced Thursday night that the card has been canceled.
Rogan, who has long served as a UFC commentator but expressed reluctance about calling the UFC 249 card during the pandemic, weighed in on its cancelation on an episode of his Joe Rogan Experience podcast.
“Wow! That’s interesting. Well, that saves me a lot of f*cking thinking,” Rogan said as news of the card’s cancelation surfaced (transcript via MMA Fighting). “Damn. I was 75 percent ready to go. The only thing that worried me was if I contracted something and then came in contact with other people. So what I was gonna do is do it if I definitely could get tested and then I would have to know the results before I come back, but f*cking – even then you don’t know.
As aforementioned, ESPN, the UFC’s broadcast partner, had a lot to do with this card biting the dust. Rogan believes ESPN probably assessed the risks associated with the card going ahead and decided to pull the plug.
“I think they made probably a risk assessment and then they made a calculation of what the negative aspects of going against government regulations, in terms of state government, would be and they probably were like, ‘We can’t do this,’” Rogan said.
Rogan also commented on the strain Dana White has no doubt been under during this process.
“Imagine being the president of the UFC,” Rogan said. “Imagine having all these fights that you have to make and having all this pressure on you, and you’re also a famous guy like Dana is. Imagine being that guy. F*ck that job. President of the UFC is second only to President of the United States. [Laughs]. Bro, he’s under ridiculous amounts of pressure…
“The most important thing is he’s a psychotic driving force for the most exciting organization in the world and I don’t think the organization gets where it is without Dana White. I think you have to have a crazy person at the wheel. You have a guy who doesn’t give a f*ck. He’s a real man. He doesn’t give a f*ck, he’ll talk sh*t, he’ll insult people, he’ll go back with you.”
The good news for anybody hoping to see some live fights again soon is that White and the UFC intend to begin promoting events again as soon as possible — potentially on the much discussed “Fight Island” White has allegedly secured for that sole purpose. Joe Rogan is on board with that plan as long as the right measures are in place.
“As long as the right precautions are in place, I agree,” Rogan said. “But the thing is, you’ve got to measure, if this was any other disease where we understood it better, I would be way more confident. . . I don’t want people who are less robust than Michael Yo [a friend of Rogan’s who contracted coronavirus and recovered following a stay in the hospital] to die, so we’ve got to figure out what the f*ck this virus is, how does it get treated, what’s the most effective way, and then it makes sense that we’re a little bit more loose with our regulations.”
Rogan wrapped up by reiterating that he was reluctant to don his commentator’s headset for UFC 249, giving the impression that he’s a little bit relieved he no longer has to decide whether or not to work the event.
“Listen man, I was hesitant,” Rogan concluded. “I was like, ‘I really want to go’, I was leaning towards going, but I’m like, ‘God, I don’t want to hear it from people who don’t think it’s a good idea.’ I’m not interested in putting myself at risk but my real concern was how do I know if I contract it and then bring it back, how am I gonna know? And then I had to be honest with myself and I really wouldn’t know. So the only way I’d be able to do it is to do it and then be in quarantine until I get tested, and I was like, ‘Oh Jesus Christ.’”
What do you think of these comments from Joe Rogan?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 4/10/2020.