May 4, 2020
Morning Kombat, Showtime’s first live digital series, is the home of veteran combat sports analysts Luke Thomas and Brian Campbell, and my personal go-to source for information and analysis on all things MMA and boxing.
While the coronavirus pandemic had already gained a foothold in Europe and Asia, and the number of cases in the United States was increasing, the Ultimate Fighting Championship was trying to move forward and organize events, even briefly considering to host them in Tachi Palace Hotel & Casino, outside the jurisdiction of any state athletic commission. One of those events was UFC 249, initially scheduled to take place on April 18th, 2020, in Brooklyn, New York.
During that time, Luke was particularly vocal regarding the dangers of organizing events without an established COVID-safety protocol to adhere to. For his stance, he had received unjust backlash by part of MMA fans. While not necessarily being majority of them, those fans were vocal enough to make him release a video on April 8th, 2020, named “No Mas”. On it, Luke spoke critically of his own way of communicating his thoughts on the matter, which apparently hadn’t been effective in reaching people that didn’t already agree with him.
The next day, the UFC announced that UFC 249 had been cancelled, and that all other UFC events were postponed until further notice.
The event was eventually rescheduled for May 9th, 2020, in Jacksonville, Florida.
A week before that, Florida lawyer Daniel Uhlfelder put on a Grim Reaper costume and roamed the newly reopened beaches of Florida, warning citizens of the dangers of not staying at home.
I jokingly sent the video of Uhlfelder to Brian with the comment “this is Luke outside UFC 249”, but then I realized that I could take it one step further.
The video composite was presented live on May 4th, 2020,