Host of HBO's 'Last Week Tonight' calls out UFC and Dana White for running shows during ongoing pandemic 

  • Popular talk show host, John Oliver called out the UFC and the promotion's president Dana White for running events during the pandemic
  • John Oliver used the recent positive test at a UFC event and Dana White's statements to create a case for the lockdown on sports to continue.
Paarth Pande
Modified 19 May 2020, 01:01 IST

UFC 229: Khabib v McGregor Press Conference
UFC 229: Khabib v McGregor Press Conference

In the most recent episode of HBO's 'Last Week Tonight' talk show, host John Oliver used UFC live events and Dana White's statements to create a case for shutdown on sports during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

On the May 17 episode of the popular late-night talk and news satire show, the subject of discussion was Coronavirus and the impact it had on the sporting world. The multiple-time Emmy award-winning show casted a glance at the effect the immediate shutdown had on sports, starting with the financial costs and then proceeding to create a case for the continuation of the lockdown and in the spotlight was the UFC and its president Dana White.

White recieved flak for his decision to continue holding events

Oliver used UFC as an example to point out how things could possibly go wrong using the example of Ronaldo Souza and his positive test. Oliver said,

 "Clearly, staging events is risky at the moment. Just the day before last weekend's UFC event, a fighter [Jacare Souza] had to pull out after he and two of his cornermen tested positive [for COVID-19], underscoring the fact that if you want to come back completely, without risk, that's just not possible right now."

The UFC, helmed by White had already clarified its stance on the issue with the argument that this showed the effectiveness of their program. Through an official statement, the promotion declared, "From their arrival earlier in the week until their departure today, Souza and his cornermen followed UFC health and safety protocols, including practicing social distancing, wearing personnel protective equipment, and self-isolating whenever possible. There have been no other positive COVID-19 tests reported from the remaining athletes participating in UFC 249. The response to this development is indicative of the effectiveness of the health and safety measures UFC has put in place for this event."

The episode and John Oliver's monologues bring the MMA fan base back to the question of whether hosting live MMA events in this environment is an acceptable decision or not. While one can agree that fans across the globe are dying for live sports content, Oliver has managed to present a very strong case regarding the lockdowns.

However, pretending the UFC hasn't followed all precautionary measures would be being unfair to them. The promotion tested all of its athletes and managed to pull off 3 successful live events during a global-lockdown, with White personally overseeing everything. The risk stands but so does Dana White's determination.

Published 19 May 2020, 01:01 IST
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