As UFC 249 went underway with no fans in attendance, one traditional fight night ritual remained: post-fight interviews with color commentator Joe Rogan.
In the lead-up to UFC 249 in Jacksonville, UFC executive vice president of operations and production Craig Borsari said there would be no post-fight interviews at the event. Rogan interviewed Ryan Spann after his split-decision victory over Sam Alvey in a preliminary light heavyweight fight.
During the interview with Spann, Rogan, who was not wearing a mask or gloves, shook Spann's hand while the fighter still had his gloves on. Octagon's announcer Bruce Buffer wore a mask while he was ringside, but removed it to make his announcements.
In the lead-up to the fight, Rogan said he was displeased with UFC's safety protocols on his podcast, according to ESPN's Marc Raimondi.
"We're gonna be in an empty arena, no one's gonna be even near me," Rogan said. "Everybody has to be really far away from each other. We're gonna be in separate corners of the Octagon, which f---ing sucks.
"We're all tested. That's what doesn't make any sense. Not only are we all healthy and fine, we're tested. We're clean. We don't have it. We don't have to be far apart from each other. I got tested [Thursday]. I got the results back from my nose swab, that's negative. And then two days before that I took an antibody test, and that's negative, too. I'm 100 percent negative."
On Friday, Ronaldo "J'acare" Souza received a positive coronavirus test and was scratched from the event, along with two of his cornermen. As a result, his fight with Uriah Hall was removed from Saturday's card.