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Twitter outraged by TikTok star-turned ‘reporter’ Addison Rae’s presence at UFC 264

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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.

Doubt that will last much longer ...

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.

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INTERIM HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP ON THE LINE! Watch UFC 265’s pay-per-view (PPV) main event between hometown hero and No. 2-ranked Derrick Lewis taking on undefeated striking sensation and No. 3-seeded Ciryl Gane inside Toyota Center in Houston, Texas, on Aug. 7, 2021. In the co-main event, former UFC Featherweight champion Jose Aldo will lock horns with No. 8-ranked Pedro Munhoz in a pivotal Bantamweight bout that’s all but guaranteed to deliver action.

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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.

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 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.