The UFC initially wanted commentator Joe Rogan to conduct his UFC 249 post-fight interviews from a distance, but he wasn’t on board with that plan.
Speaking at the conclusion of UFC 249, Daniel Cormier, who joined Rogan on commentary duty, claimed the long-time commentator “threw a fit” when he was asked to conduct his post-fight interviews from a distance of two yards.
— Jed I. Goodman (@jedigoodman) May 10, 2020
“At least they let me do the post-fight interviews in the Octagon,” Rogan said after this comment from Cormier (h/t MMA Mania).
“You threw a fit,” Cormier replied. “You threw a fit before the show. This is insane, everyone’s been tested, we’re all clean!”
“They were going to make me do them from like two yards away,” Rogan added. “We’re all clean. Everyone’s been tested, but they were going to make me do interviews from 50 feet away. I’m like, ‘I can’t, I want to see them, look into their eyes.’”
While Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza and two of his cornermen tested positive for COVID-19 in the immediate lead-up to UFC 249, the event seems to have gone down without any other issues. At the very least, Rogan and his fellow commentators seem to have felt quite safe through the experience, contrary to some initial reluctance.
UFC President Dana White insists the promotion’s events will run more and more smoothly as they continue to operate in the coronavirus era.
“Yeah, obviously the whole social distancing thing and keeping people away from each other and everything … everybody here was tested,” White said post-fight. “The people that are still here, we know are negative. I don’t know. You know? We’re just trying … like I was saying earlier, we’re still figuring this whole thing out. This was the first one, it was a success. Wednesday will be better. Saturday will be better and so on and so forth.”
What do you think of Joe Rogan refusing to do fighter interviews from a distance?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 5/11/2020.