UFC play-by-play man Jon Anik is very confident the promotion will be able to go ahead with the planned UFC 249 card on May 9.
Anik, who is a proud “degenerate gambler,” even set the odds for the card happening at a solid 9/10.
“I do think we’re going to have a show on May 9,” Anik told MMA Junkie of UFC 249, which is expected to occur in Florida. “I feel pretty convicted in that. I would say a 9/10 (odds it happens), if you will. I live in Florida, so those reports aren’t bothering me any. Big picture, I think it’s just about getting the staff and the fighters to wherever this location is. I feel like if any company can do it (the UFC can). I feel like all their ducks are in a row. May 9 can’t come soon enough so we can prove we can do a show safely and healthy and come out the other side.”
If UFC 249 does go ahead as planned, Anik is adamant that he’ll be working the event.
“I’m working May 9,” Anik said. “I will be there and depending on where it is, I’ll either drive or fly and find a way. I have a lot of respect for the virus. I’ve heard from a lot of respiratory therapists privately and publicly, and I have a lot of respect for the medical community and the virus. But at some point us in the live event business, we’re going to have to rip off the BAND-AID and go back to work. Especially when the executives, Dana White being chief among them, are putting themselves in a position to try to get back.
“You can be sure we will be masked and gloved almost right up until showtime until we’re spitting commentary in the direction of the fighters or whatever we’re doing,” Anik added. “We’ll be taking a lot of precautions obviously, and I’m sure the questions we have now will be answered leading up to May 9.”
UFC 249 is supposed to mark the UFC’s return from a brief coronavirus-related hiatus, and be followed by cards every weekend. Anik believes that, if UFC 249 goes off without a hitch, subsequent fight cards should be possible too.
“You get one in the can successfully, and maybe that sets the foundation for future events,” Anik said. “That’s what we’re all pointing toward on May 9. How exactly is it going to get done? I can’t tell you right now. But I would bet on the UFC to get it done in the safest way as humanly possible.”
What do you think of this optimistic assessment from Jon Anik? Do you think UFC 249 will happen on May 9?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 4/23/2020.