A go-getter like Frank Trigg has achieved much in his life, from his high-level collegiate wrestling and mixed martial arts career, to his acting and stuntman work, to his budding post-fight career as an MMA official.

But as much as Trigg would like to be back at it as a referee and judge, the more he learns about coronavirus, the more he’s convinced there’s no way to put on a fight card in a safe manner, no matter how much some in the fight game want to think otherwise.

“There’s no way to make something like this safe until we understand what we’re dealing with,” Trigg recently told MMA Junkie Radio. “How can we counter it? Is there going to be a vaccine for this thing? There’s no way to make these things safe until we figure this out. The same thing with polio, same thing with leprosy. Until we figure out what it actually is, how it actually progresses, what is actually happening with it, there is no way to make a sporting event safe.”

The UFC is attempting to get the company’s fight schedule back up and running on May 9. The promotion plans on following guidelines limiting the number of people who can gather in one spot and hold events in a closed location without fans, so as to cut down on the chances people involved will catch the virus.

However, coronavirus can take up to 14 days for symptoms to manifest. Some who carry it never show symptoms, but the bug can by passed by asymptomatic individuals.

Trigg, who believed he may have caught COVID-19 during a fall trip to China but recently had antibody tests come up negative, used the hypothetical example of an asymptomatic cameraman to demonstrate how easily the virus could spread.

“Say one camera guy, he’s three feet away,” Trigg said. “He’s trying to practice social distancing, but he’s three feet away, but what happens? He goes to a grocery store. A person has COVID. The person who has COVID doesn’t think he has COVID. The camera guy doesn’t think he has COVID because he has a mask on, he’s walking through. They touch with no gloves a thing of ketchup, they put it back, they don’t want to take it, they want something else. That camera guy then picks up that COVID infected thing of ketchup, puts in his bag, goes out and buys it and goes home. Now he’s got COVID in his house.

“But fight’s on Friday, this is Tuesday, he’s not showing any signs. Nothing’s happening. He’s a camera guy not in touch with everybody, but he’s at cageside.  He has COVID, but he doesn’t realize it. They don’t know they have it. … All of a sudden he started coughing a little bit, the fighters are below him because he has to get a shot, now they’ve been exposed, that whole group.”

Trigg could have faced an ethical dilemma had he been asked to participate in the plan to hold UFC 249 on April 18 at Tachi Palace Casino near Lemoore, Calif., as Trigg is a California State Athletic Commission-sanctioned official, and the UFC was looking to go around CSAC sanction.

But Trigg, a member of the UFC Hall of Fame’s Fight Wing, considered the issue moot from the get-go, as he was convinced the UFC wouldn’t be able to pull the event off, which proved to be true.

“That fight was never going to happen, so I was never close to coming to be a part of it,” Trigg said. “Two reasons: One, it was never going to happen, not at Tachi Palace. Could have picked any other country, any territory in the entire country and pulled it off, outside California. But in California, all sovereign territory are pretty much for CSAC. So if you’re to come in and go, ‘We’re going to do this event,’ it becomes a real battling back-and-forth between the California athletic commission vs. the UFC’s commission with Marc Ratner, and Ratner is close friends with Andy Foster, so it becomes a big deal. And so that fight, in my mind, was never going to happen.”



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