Joe Rogan’s been pretty open about his concern with the ongoing global coronavirus pandemic from the get-go.

On March 10, he devoted a full 90-minute episode of his wildly popular “Joe Rogan Experience” podcast to interviewing a highly respected infectious disease expert about the dangers of COVID-19. As of Tuesday afternoon, the virus has killed nearly 80,000 people worldwide while the number of cases reached 1.4 million. In the U.S., we’re up to 380,000 cases and nearly 12,000 deaths.

Rogan, as you know, is the longtime cageside commentator for the UFC. He doesn’t miss the promotion’s biggest pay-per-views, which UFC 249 was certain to be before the highly anticipated Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Tony Ferguson headliner officially fell off. But roughly two weeks ago on an episode of his podcast, Rogan made it clear he had no interest in working UFC 249 because of coronavirus concerns.

That brings us to Monday, when a makeshift UFC 249 card was announced for the April 18 event that still doesn’t officially have a location. Afterward, UFC president Dana White spoke to TMZ and was asked about Rogan’s previous remarks regarding the promotion’s plan to push forward during the pandemic.

White opted for one of his classic media-bashing moves in response.

“He did not say that,” White said. “Again, you can’t listen to anything the media says. Nobody talked to him. They heard him talking on a podcast. You know what I mean? So they start writing stories off of podcasts that are full of sh*t. Rogan will be there.”

Counterpoint: Rogan did say that. Here’s the proof:

“The UFC’s talking about putting on a fight on April 18. I don’t know how they’re gonna do that. I don’t know if they’re gonna be able to do that in the United States. They’re talking about doing it in a place with less than 10 people, just an open arena. I guess someone’s gonna commentate it. It’s not gonna be me. And they’re gonna be duking it out, like in an empty place, and they’re gonna try to do it on the 18th.”

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Given that White said people (and this includes MMA Junkie) have written stories “off of podcasts that are full of shit,” does that mean he thinks Rogan is full of sh*t? Because Rogan definitely said what he said; that’s indisputable. And the remarks subsequently were reported accurately.

If Rogan’s opinion is now different, then OK. Or it’s possible he doesn’t have to physically be cageside to call the fights. Either way, it doesn’t change what he said in the first place on a recorded podcast watched by millions.

Fact of the matter is: That “JRE” episode from March 26 is the last we’ve heard from Rogan publicly on the matter. White’s assertion that Rogan “will be there” at UFC 249 would seem to indicate he and Rogan have spoken and are on the same page. Maybe that’s the case. But can you really trust that after White’s false claim about Rogan’s original stance?

Which begs two questions: Does Joe Rogan know he’s commentating UFC 249? And does he now want to?

The Blue Corner is MMA Junkie’s blog space. We don’t take it overly serious, and neither should you. If you come complaining to us that something you read here is not hard-hitting news, expect to have the previous sentence repeated in ALL CAPS.