In an episode of Last Week Tonight With John Oliver which aired a fortnight ago and focused on attempts to restart sport, the show's host was critical of the UFC holding events despite the ongoing Covid-19 crisis.
Oliver also made jokes about the promotion planning to host international events on what it called 'Fight Island'. He wondered why they had not called it the far more slick 'UFSea'.
Just two days after the show air, White told ESPN:
"So, what's his name? John Oliver came out and did that piece with some selective facts about what we'd done in Florida. I told my lawyers, 'See if the trademark is there for UFSea?'"
On Sunday night's episode of Last Week Tonight, Oliver hit back at White.
"First, Dana White intentionally forgetting my name is a truly excellent neg," he said, "or rather, it would be if he weren’t only number 83 on GQ’s list of the 100 most powerful bald men in the world from 2013. Now that is a neg right there, Dana. You got beat by Jason Alexander. You got Costanzaed!
"More importantly, I’m not remotely mad here. I want you to use that name. In fact, I think you should let us rename all of your events, because frankly, you’re not very good at it.
"Take UFC 249, it’s just your logo plus a number. Where’s the pizzaz there? How about this, UFC: Knuckle Opera? Or Dust Up at the Beef Factory? Or Large Hamboy Collider? It’s better, right? Who doesn’t want to see some hamboys collide right now?"
Oliver also had some suggestions should White ever consider changing his name. Those included: Dumps McFightman, Lug Steakface, Spamiel Musclemilk, Skull Brisket, Tummybuns Bin Laden, Rufus T. Namethief and Doug.
"Honestly, even the name Dana White could use little punch up," said Oliver.
"It doesn’t sound like the head of the Ultimate Fighting Championship, it sounds like the third best real estate agent in Sacramento or a video where a white woman calls the cops on a black family for smiling too hard.
"I am not mad at Tug Slabmeat for stealing our idea for ‘UFSea'. We may not even be the first person he's stolen from. He only filed for the ‘Fight Island’ trademark a week after a TMZ reporter suggested to him he call it that.
"In fact, the only thing that he’s done here that annoyed me was accusing us of using ‘selective facts,’ because facts are to me what other peoples’ ideas are to Dana White: something I’m very passionate about.
"What apparently upset him was that in our piece we pointed out that three people, a UFC fighter and his two cornermen, all tested positive for coronavirus before a recent event, underscoring the fact that it seems impossible to return to sports completely without risk right now.
"White responded on Twitter to say ‘we had three events, not one,’ which is completely irrelevant, and that those three positives came from 1,100 tests, which does initially seem to minimize it - until you learn that all those tests were administered to just 300 people.
"Basically, Dana was quoting a larger number to make the positive results look less significant, which seems like, I don’t know, a selective fact."