MMA: UFC boss Dana White says he won’t be punished for slapping his wife

UFC president Dana White reiterated that he was wrong to hit his wife and that he does not want fans to defend him. PHOO: AFP

LAS VEGAS – UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) president Dana White regrets slapping his wife in Mexico on New Year’s Eve, but said no further punishment is necessary for the incident caught on video.

The 53-year-old opened his press conference on Wednesday by addressing the matter, which followed reports from ESPN’s in-house mixed martial arts reporters that the Disney Corporation had prohibited journalists from reporting on the incident.

In the video, White shoves his wife, Anne, to the ground after retaliating from a slap to the face. He first slapped her twice before the two-hand push.

“We’ve had plenty of discussions internally,” White said, speaking at UFC Apex before the first event of 2023 in the Las Vegas arena.

“With (media rights CEO) Ari (Emanuel), ESPN. Nobody is happy about this. Neither am I. But it happened and I have to deal with it. What is my punishment? Here is my punishment: I gotta walk around... and this is how I’m labelled.”

Saying he was surprised by the support he received via social media, White said he stands by his previous public position that “you never bounce back from putting your hands on a woman”, and said he does not want fighters or fans to defend him.

Prominent UFC fighter Daniel Cormier also said others need to stop defending White, because he already stated he was wrong.

“Dana White was wrong,” Cormier told ESPN.

“He told you he was wrong. We have long been told our entire lives that we are not supposed to put our hands on women. Dana White himself has gone on record himself to say, ‘You are not supposed to put your hands on women.’ He understands that. He took accountability immediately.”

White added that he is not aware of any formal punishment coming his way.

“What should the repercussions be? You tell me,” he said.

“I take 30 days off? How does that hurt me? I told you guys when we were going through Covid, Covid could last 10 years. I could sit it out. It’s much like Covid actually. Me leaving hurts the company, hurts my employees, hurts the fighters. It doesn’t hurt me.

“I could’ve left in 2016. You know what I mean? I don’t know. Do I need to reflect? No, I don’t need to reflect. The next morning when I woke up (I reflected). I’ve been against this. I’ve owned this. I’m telling you that I’m wrong.” REUTERS

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