Stephen A. Smith, still a bit of a wildcard in the MMA community for varying opinions about his knowledge of the sport, claimed that Ferguson, who is at his best when grappling, did not engage Gaethje (and vice versa) due to fears of contracting COVID-19.
If they had fears about infection, wouldn't they just call off the fight? They were already bleeding and sweating all over each other. What would a few grapples have done? This scalding take from Stephen A. doesn't hold up even after the most basic evaluation.
Ferguson's decision to stand up and take on Gaethje was rooted in some ill-conceived plan to out-box a guy who is dominant at times as a puncher. There's no wild coronavirus angle to that story.
Also, when you consider the fact Gaethje was pummeling Ferguson pretty much without resistance, then you realize there was no need for Gaethje to grapple and little opportunity for Ferguson to do so given his opponent's aggressive attacks.