Three “Huh?” Moments in MMA Last Week: DC had COVID-19, Spreading Conspiracies, and No Poirier-Ferguson

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Daniel Cormier UFC
Daniel Cormier, UFC 252 press conference Credit: Gabriel Gonzalez/Cageside Press

Daniel Cormier tested positive for COVID-19 ahead of his bout at UFC 252, more than a handful of MMA fighters are spreading conspiracy theories, and our chance to see Dustin Poirier fight Tony Ferguson this October has been ruined.

Finding the proper response to much of the news finding its way into our social media feeds is becoming a tougher task every day. Nothing is surprising anymore, and there’s always more to the story. Leaving us with one reply: “huh?”

Last week, Daniel Cormier shared that he tested positive for COVID-19 in the lead up to his trilogy title-bout with UFC heavyweight champ Stipe Miocic, an article tracking the number of MMA fighters spreading conspiracy theories via social media is surprisingly(?) large, and our chance to watch Dustin Poirier fight Tony Ferguson at UFC 254 has been ruined.

The reason “huh?”, in its various forms, is such a quality reply is simple. The word is as versatile as a response gets, and while it may require some explanation, “huh?” is sometimes the only way to react to the news of today. Defined by Merriam-Webster as an interjection that’s “used to express surprise, disbelief, or confusion, or as an inquiry inviting affirmative reply”, “huh” or “huh?” can mean a lot of different things.

Despite some of the follies of evolution (see: Colby Covington), the development and growth of “huh” is something we should embrace. To be the change we want to see in the world, here are a few MMA stories last week that made us go “huh?”

Daniel Cormier UFC 252
Daniel Cormier, UFC 252 weigh-in Credit: Gabriel Gonzalez/Cageside Press

Daniel Cormier had COVID-19 ahead of UFC 252

In a weird announcement for the UFC’s partnership with Oura Health (they make the Oura Ring, which tracks health data), we found out Daniel Cormier had COVID-19 within a month of his trilogy fight with Stipe Miocic at UFC 252. Huh?

The report, from Yahoo! Sports, pairs the news of Cormier’s bout with COVID-19 ahead of the match up with Miocic with a PR piece on the effectiveness of the Oura Ring, which Cormier was using during training.

“The ring didn’t tell me I had COVID,” Cormier said. “But the ring told me that something wasn’t right, and I used the information to make a decision to go see the doctor. I found out then that I had COVID, but the information I got from the ring allowed me to make the fight.” – via Yahoo! Sports

It’s surprising this news didn’t get out ahead of the fight. It’s even more surprising that we’re finding out as part of an advertisement for one of the promotion’s new business partners. Maybe it shouldn’t be.

Either way, the fact that Cormier was able to compete as well as he did is a testament to the kind of fighter he is. They also could have just moved the fight back a few weeks, or been overly cautious with their timelines. Instead, everything stayed on track, and the event went on as planned.

That’s probably a good thing, from the promotion’s point of view. And Cormier doesn’t seem bothered. But the pairing of his positive test with a UFC business partnership announcement feels weird. It only took a little more than six months for the promotion to find a way to use a positive COVID test for one of it’s biggest fighters as a business opportunity. Huh.

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