Items filtered by date: Tuesday, 17 March 2020
As the pandemic of the new coronavirus (Sars-Cov-2), the virus responsible for Covid-19 disease, spreads to more and more countries, including the United States, virtually all major sports leagues have postponed their upcoming games and matches , including the NBA, MLB, NHL, PGA Tour, NCAA's March Madness, XFL and MLS, among others.
As the saying goes: “What happens in the United States is reflected all over the world” and subsequently, the world of mixed martial arts followed suit, with dozens of MMA promotions postponing their events due to the virus.
There was still a recent statement by U.S. President Donald Trump advising against events that had more than 10 people gathered in an enclosed space, so it was impossible for sports organizations to keep the events planned. Now, the example is being followed in some countries around the world, at least apparently.
Before that, however, a move that went unnoticed was the decision of the World Lethwei Championship to postpone the WLC: 'Khmer Kingdom' three weeks ago, which initially would be the first international event of the promotion and when the thought of the sporting world was yet to be realized your events 'behind closed doors'. The promotion was questioned by the attitude at the time.
Although Myanmar had no confirmed cases at the time, WLC organizers decided that the most prudent thing to do, especially with international teams and fighters, would be to postpone what was one of the most anticipated martial arts events this year.
Speaking to reporters to announce the cancellation, WLC President Zay Thiha explained how he came to the difficult decision.
- “We are socially responsible for our actions and caution and safety must be the number one priority. Although it is difficult, it is the right decision. ”- he explained.
Once unpopular with Lethwei fans, the decision has now proved to be a smart move.
Lethwei is considered to be one of the most brutal martial arts in the world. The modality makes use of takedowns, fists, elbows, knees, feet and even headbutts, an important weapon in the arsenal of a Lethwei fighter. This is why it is also known as “The Art of 9 Limbs”.
The WLC promotion has revolutionized Lethwei's ancient Burmese martial art, with innovations in its events to show it to the world, which combine Lethwei's historical traditions with 'live' entertainment, pyrotechnic effects, fighter tickets, music and dancers.
The WLC has already produced events across Myanmar, with shows being held in cities like Hpa-an, Yangon, Naypitaw and Mandalay. The franchise had grandiose plans for that year 2020 that included global expansion, such as promoting events in countries like Thailand, Cambodia, Japan and even the USA.
It is imperative to maintain your confidence in difficult times, but fighting event promoters will have to wait a little longer for them to return to their activities.
On Monday, United States President Donald Trump returned to speak out and said the number of Covid-19 cases in the country should begin to drop in July, August or "maybe even later".
In Brazil, the Government of São Paulo estimates that the coronavirus outbreak should last “from four to five months”. However, the restrictive measures adopted by the state administration, such as the suspension of classes and the restriction of events, should not be applied throughout this period.
- “We understand that this epidemic and this wave will last from 4 to 5 months, which is not to say that restrictive measures will necessarily last that long. The decision will be made by a group of extremely experienced researchers and scientists, together with the secretary of state and governor. ”- said David Uip, Coordinator of the Coronavirus Contingency Center of São Paulo.
It is necessary to remember that the sport of mixed martial arts is still a business, but it is much more than that.
Sport can be a great unifier, where the tension and conflict of race, religion, politics and other current issues can be forgotten, allowing athletes to come together for the common love of sport. However, in times of crisis, sports organizations also have a responsibility and fighters are increasingly mentioning their hopes of avoiding infection and staying safe.
Remembering that social distance and hand washing will be good for everyone in the long run.
As Max Holloway, a former UFC featherweight champion, put it:
-“The faster we can reduce the spread, the faster we will return to our normal life.”-commented Max, in a 'post' on his Instagram.
It is appropriate to follow the recommendation of the World Health Organization (WHO) and avoid crowds while we await the return of normalcy, as sport is a representation of the hopes and dreams of millions and millions of fans worldwide and if everyone does their part , then the show can continue.
* Text from the collaborator Oriosvaldo Costa. | Written in 18 / 03 / 2020
Photo: The attitude of the WLC brings the sensitivity of the precautions against the coronavirus. (Courtesy | Credits: World Lethwei Championship | Disclosure).