Stephen A. Smith Suggests Tony Ferguson, Justin Gaethje Didn’t Grapple Due To COVID-19

Stephen A. Smith

Smith Thinks Ferguson, Gaethje Didn’t Grapple Due To COVID-19 Fears

ESPN commentator Stephen A. Smith continues to make headlines in the world of mixed martial arts.

Smith came under fire for his comments about Donald Cerrone’s performance in his defeat to Conor McGregor back in January — though he feels he was validated going by recent comments.

His latest comments, however, are considerably harder to defend even for his most die-hard fans as he was discussing the UFC 249 headliner between Tony Ferguson and Justin Gaethje this past weekend.

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Gaethje came out on top with a fifth-round TKO win after a back-and-forth war that saw no clinching, grappling or wrestling. In fact, there wasn’t even a single takedown attempt.

Smith, however, suggested that this was the case due to fears of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. You can watch the snippet below:

“There was so much striking, I was surprised there wasn’t a little bit more wrestling and what have you,” Smith said. “Then I remember with the coronavirus pandemic coming on and in my mind, my attitude is that guys were a bit reluctant to grapple unless necessary.”

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Although both fighters are accomplished on the ground, very few expected them to engage there given their love of brawling. And it’s highly unlikely that the coronavirus prevented them from doing so even if they wanted to.

So good luck to Smith if he comes under fire for these comments as well.

What do you make of Smith’s suggestion?