This weekend was supposed to be when UFC 249 was going to take place, but then UFC President Dana White was asked to stand down by Disney and ESPN, which led to UFC 249 being canceled and other events postponed due to the coronavirus.
Former two division UFC champion Daniel Cormier would’ve been one of the three commentators working the event alongside Jon Anik and Joe Rogan and DC says the UFC would’ve used social distancing to keep them all safe during the event.
“So they called me, told me the procedures in terms of what was going to happen, you know I’m a guy when go places, generally I’m not by myself,” Cormier said on the DC & Helwani Show (via Jed Meshew of MMA Fighting). “Somebody goes or I’ve got friends and I take them to the fights or if I’ve got a friend in the town that we’re fighting I invite them to the fight. So being in California, one of the biggest worries for me was, no one can go with you. Like nobody. They said ‘DC, you’ve got to come alone. You’re going to check into the hotel, they’re going to screen you and make sure you’re okay, do everything. Then you’re going to go into the arena, call the fights, and then you’re going to leave.’ In terms of what they were going to do to try and protect us, it was crazy. [Joe] Rogan, myself, and [Jon] Anik - the octagon has eight sides - we would each be on a different side of the octagon just to make sure we were social distancing away from each other. By the time I was done with this conversation, I felt like I was almost safer at the event than I am anywhere else because it’s only people that are OK, we’re all away from each other, and then you go and get paid, and you’re there for a day. I could have drove up Saturday morning, called the fights, drove home Saturday night. It was perfect for me.”
There is no word yet on when the UFC will return to action, but with the promotion’s “Fight Island” being ready in about one month, fans could start seeing fights again by this May or June.
A lot of people have criticized White for attempting to go through with UFC events in light of the coronavirus, but DC isn’t one of those people.
“I don’t disagree with what he’s doing,” Cormier said. “I want fights! I really do. So to watch him put all this effort into trying to make it happen, it’s a little crazy but it’s what needs to happen. Everybody - we’re all kind of like waiting. No one really knows what to do and somebody has to show that there’s a way to get going again. . . Somebody has to do something. The NBA wants to get going. Baseball wants to get going. Everybody wants to get going but everybody’s just kind of waiting and is so afraid to jump that we’re just all standing still. I think the UFC tried and I honestly think that it would’ve worked. If the fight went on last week, it would’ve worked.”
Cormier is also expecting to return to action later this year for a third fight with UFC Heavyweight Champion Stipe Miocic, but a date for their rubber match hasn’t been announced at this time.