Perhaps the year’s biggest mixed martial arts (MMA) event, UFC 264, is scheduled to go down later tonight (Sat. July 10, 2021) from inside T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Naturally, there’s been a huge media frenzy around the event: attentive readers may have noticed there’s been one or two articles about Conor McGregor published in the last few days?
All the added attention has produced some strange consequences already. For example, the guy in the hot pink suit (Josh Cohen) who called out McGregor to insults and raucous boos from the crowd? Cohen, an ESPN radio host in South Florida, was a credentialed media member.
Nevertheless, the strange saga continues, as TikTok star — to the tune of 82 million followers — Addison Rae has found her way to UFC’s crew of reporters.
I studied broadcast journalism in college for 3 whole months to prepare for this moment pic.twitter.com/5Z95OTSVTA— Addison Rae (@whoisaddison) July 10, 2021
Rae’s presence alone may not infuriated the Internet (okay, it probably would have), but many took issue with her “3 whole months” of preparation caption. Her name is trending on social media, and the reaction is overwhelmingly negative.
MMA Twitter watching Addison Rae land a job as a UFC Reporter: pic.twitter.com/1oBuenM5jb— DAPPER DON DHARSHI • K A M I L • (@SoloFlow786) July 10, 2021
it’s beyond infuriating to me that addison rae is covering a UFC fight as a reporter. as a woman in sportscasting who already has to work harder than half the room, i hate that we now also have to compete with random celebrities because they’re hot and famous!— Jen Spell (@jenhelenspell) July 10, 2021
addison rae getting the UFC journalism job is the definition of pretty privilege— . (@victoriaveronna) July 10, 2021
I do not want to hear Addison Rae talk a single second about the UFC.— - - (@OTRKingTy) July 10, 2021
I didn't want 2 say it but since it's been said it's really a cruel irony that someone like Addison Rae can be given the opportunity to work in journalism at a UFC fight but there are people who are in debt with degrees who will never get the chance to.— Neosoulglow (@kidcalledlauryn) July 10, 2021
Oddly enough, I feel compelled to defend Rae, whom I did not know existed prior to being tasked with covering this controversy. First and foremost: it does not take a decade of studies to interview UFC fighters the day before an event. It takes roughly five seconds to memorize the only two questions that ever get asked! “How did your camp go?” plus “What’s your prediction for your fight?” repeated for every single individual competitor.
It’s fight promotion, not journalism. Let’s not pretend otherwise.
Furthermore, 82 MILLION FOLLOWERS! Rae posting about UFC is infinitely more valuable to the promotion than even the most thought-provoking and well-researched question, which will garner less attention than even a mediocre Conor McGregor tweet.
UPDATE: Over before it even really started? Rae claims she has been “fired” from the broadcasting gig:
Remember that MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 264 fight card right here, starting with the early ESPN+ “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. ET, then the remaining undercard balance on ESPN/ESPN+ at 8 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN+ PPV.
To check out the latest and greatest UFC 264: “McGregor vs. Poirier 3” news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archive right here.