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Morning Report: Jon Anik confident in the UFC’s planned May 9th event: ‘I feel like all their ducks are in a row’

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

That last month has been tumultuous for the UFC. After weeks of trying beg, borrow, and steal to keep UFC 249 on amid the coronavirus pandemic, UFC President Dana White was finally forced to postpone the event that was slated to happen no April 18th. White was quick to rebound though and now the UFC is moving full tilt towards holding the event on May 9th, despite ongoing coronavirus concerns. And UFC commentator Jon Anik’s money is on White getting it done this time.

“I do think we’re going to have a show on May 9,” Anik told MMAJunkie recently. “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.”

The questions of safety have been the primary concern surrounding holding an event. Many governments across the United States have temporarily banned sporting events, deeming them an unnecessary risk during one one of the biggest pandemics in a generation. Not all states agree though, chief among them the state of Florida which has emerged as the frontrunner to host the event. That would be convenient for Anik who calls the Sunshine State home, but even if the event takes place somewhere else, Anik is planning on being there.

“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. 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.”

Anik is just the latest commentator to voice his support of UFC’s ambitious return plans. Daniel Cormier previously said he had intended to attend UFC 249 when it was going to take place at Tachi Palace in California and Joe Rogan admitted that though he originally was against the idea, after hearing about the UFC’s planned precautions he, too, was likely work the event.

And afterwards? What happens once the UFC finally does get back on the horse? Well according to Anik, hopefully that will help get things back to normal and set up for the organization to keep holding events.

“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.”


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Thanks for reading and see y’all on Monday.



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