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Morning Report: Joe Rogan reacts to Dana White’s plans for ‘Fight Island’: ‘There’s no social distancing in a f*cking cage fight’

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Jorge Masvidal and Joe Rogan Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

UFC 249 is set to take place in just nine days and there are still a number of questions surrounding the event. Where will the event take place? How will fighters be transported to it? Will fighters be tested for coronavirus? And exactly what precautions will the UFC be using to mitigate the spread of coronavirus? Conflicting reports abound for each of those questions making details hard to come by not just for the larger MMA community but for people involved in the event, including the man ostensibly tasked with commentating the event.

UFC President Dana White recently said that Joe Rogan would in fact be calling UFC 249, however, on yesterday’s episode of his Joe Rogan Experience podcast, Rogan admitted that his still has no information about the event outside of Dana White’s statements about buying a private island to showcase fights on.

“We don’t know where it is,” Rogan said. “I’m trying to figure out what I’m doing, if I’m going to it or not. I don’t know where it is. I don’t even know if it’s in America. I literally, as of right now, I don’t know sh*t. I have no information.

“Fight Island. They’re gonna buy an island. Yes, [like the Bruce Lee movie] Enter the Dragon.”

It’s an unparalleled situation and “Fight Island” seems unlikely to play host to UFC 249 at least, given the short notice. Instead, reports suggest that UFC 249 will take place at Tachi Palace Resort Casino but whether Rogan will be willing to commentate still seems up in the air. Rogan has previously questioned the safety concerns around hosting such an event, saying he would not be involved. Now it seems Rogan may be willing to call the event, however he did note that there’s still some pretty major inherent risk in the UFC staying the course here.

“There’s no social distancing in a f*cking cage fight,” Rogan said. “They’re on top of each other sweating in each other’s mouths. If Tony Ferguson’s fighting, there’s gonna be blood, for sure. Everybody that fights Tony Ferguson looks like they fell off a train, so there’s gonna be blood. . .

“What if one of those guys test positive? What if Justin Gaethje tests positive? He’s supposed to be fighting Ferguson. . . I have a feeling that if someone did test positive, they would kick them off the card. I shouldn’t say kick them off the card, remove them from the card. I would imagine it has to be the right thing to do. Then you would also have to quarantine the people that worked with him in training camp and test everybody.”

All that being said, the UFC seems dead set on moving forward with this event. Initially, it appeared that Dana White’s insistence was founded in a desire to finally see lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov fight Tony Ferguson, a bout which has now fallen apart on five separate occasions. When Khabib was forced out of UFC 249 due to coronavirus travel restrictions, many thought that would signal the end of the card. Instead, now Justin Gaethje will step in to face Tony Ferguson for an interim lightweight title, and according to Rogan, that may be the death knell for UFC fans ever getting Tony vs. Khabib.

“Who knows man?” Rogan said when asked if Nurmagomedov and Ferguson would ever fight. “Not if something happens this weekend. Justin Gaethje is a monster. He’s a monster. He’s a terrifying individual. In a sport that’s violent - it’s an inherently violent sport - he stands out as the most violent. Do you know how crazy that is? You watch his knockout of Edson Barboza, you watch how that motherf*cker attacks people; there’s a reckless abandon to his calculated wildness that is terrifying. It’s terrifying. He’s something special and he’s better all the time.”


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The important things. USADA releases statement on UFC 249 testing.

Tough choices. Jacare Souza ‘scared’ by coronavirus pandemic, but ‘I have to take care of my family one way or the other’.


VIDEO STEW

The A-Side Live Chat.

A long video on Justin Gaethje. For most fighters, a 20-minute video of highlights might be long. For Gaethje, it feels like four minutes.

Free fights.

Ali talking sh*t about Conor.


LISTEN UP

UFC Unfiltered. Interviews with Tyron Woodley and Frankie Edgar.


SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE

UFC 249 promo.

Apparently the Dutch broadcaster Talpa Network is not going to show UFC 249.

Can you just imagine if this was the “private island”?

The UFC is dead set on Henry facing none of the top contenders apparently.

Frankie also wants in.

And Aljo.

Isolation training.

Chuck . . . this ain’t it.

Also, damn. That’s got to suck.

Island fights.

Root for this man.

Island 5 for sure.


FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENTS

N/A.


FINAL THOUGHTS

Thanks for reading and see y’all tomorrow.


EXIT POLL

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