There wasn’t an exception when New York Times reporter, Kevin Draper, questioned the UFC’s execution of its COVID-19 protocols. The UFC returned to action for the first time since March with UFC 249 on May 9. Instead of countering to Draper’s points, the UFC boss instead decided to put him on blast.
Dana White Fires Back At Criticism Of UFC’s COVID-19 Protocols
During the UFC Jacksonville post-fight press conference, White was in typical form, hurling expletives at Draper for his post on the New York Times (h/t MMAJunkie).
“F*ck that guy. F*ck that guy,” White said during the post-fight news conference. “You know what happened with that guy? That guy who’s never covered the sport was writing a story about Endeavor (UFC’s parent company) and then the UFC was one of the Endeavor … you know. And what happened when this guy and this paper covered the UFC – when they’ve never covered it before? What do you think happened?
“This f*cking story was huge. They did killer traffic. Now they’re writing stories, three a week, and they’re posting live results. I don’t care what this guy thinks or what he has to say, what he writes. Good for him, he’s pulling traffic.”
Jacare Souza alerted the UFC ahead of his planned fight with Uriah Hall that he might’ve been exposed to the coronavirus. He ended up tested positive and the fight was canceled. The UFC still had Jacare face-off with Hall before the test results came in. They were distanced more than any other fighter during staredowns. Video also surfaced of Jacare not social distancing and being around others including Fabricio Werdum. Jacare was wearing a mask and gloves.
The promotion also had a plan in place for post-fight interviews. Initially, fighters were supposed to be interviewed at a distance. That idea went out the window when UFC color commentator Joe Rogan, “threw a fit,” as Daniel Cormier put it, because he felt it didn’t make sense as everyone was already tested.