After a domestic altercation on New Year’s Eve that was recorded on camera, beleaguered president Dana White spoke to reporters at Wednesday’s UFC Fight Night media day in Las Vegas in an effort to shift attention back to his fighters competing on the first UFC fight card of 2023 this weekend.
After video of him and his wife of 27 years, Anne, fighting at a nightclub in Mexico surfaced last week, White, 53, who had previously accepted responsibility during an interview with TMZ, put an end to the much-criticized silence from UFC, parent company Endeavor, and broadcasting partner ESPN in the wake of the incident.
There are no justifications for it, and I will have to deal with it and live with the consequences for the rest of my life, White stated. “One thing that I do want to make clear in this situation that I didn’t discuss on TMZ, because I didn’t see it coming, is the individuals who are supporting me.
There is never a justification. There is no defense for this, and under no circumstances should anyone be supporting me in this regard. Every criticism I’ve had this week and will continue to face is wholly justified.
Just a few days away from Saturday’s UFC Apex show, which will feature middleweights Nassourdine Imavov and Sean Strickland (205-pounders), White answered questions from the MMA press for nearly 14 minutes. However, the main topic of discussion was whether or not White was anticipated to face any consequences, including self-imposed ones.
“How will taking a break for 30 days affect me?” stated White. “My departure will affect the business, my staff, and the combatants. I could have gone [when UFC was sold] in 2016, so that doesn’t bother me. Do I require reflection? I don’t need to think about it.
“I have opposed this and owned this. I’m here to admit that I’m mistaken. But listen, there have been several internal discussions, including those with ESPN and [Endeavor CEO] Ari [Emmanuel]. Nobody is happy. Me neither. But it did, and now I must deal with it.”
White claimed that no penalty is necessary for him because it is already punishment enough.
“Want to know what I got me into? Here is my punishment: I must remain mobile for the remainder of my life. and this is my current designation,” White added. “My other punishment is that I’m sure there are a lot of people who once respected me — whether it be the media, friends, or acquaintances — who may no longer regard me. I will have to cope with a lot of things for the rest of my life that are far more like punishments.
Endeavor, which acquired UFC from Zuffa for roughly $4 billion in 2016, made the decision to remain completely silent. In the meantime, White received consistent support on social media from a large group of fans, competitors, and even some media members. On Wednesday, White spoke out against all of them, reiterating that what he did doesn’t deserve any justifications, regardless of which spouse hit the other one first.
White declared, “There is only one side to this, and that side is mine. “There is never a justification or justification for what happened on New Year’s Eve, ever,”
Both White and his wife expressed their apologies to one another and no legal action was taken against them as a result of the incident. He also disclosed their resolve to remain together and devote all of their attention to rebuilding their family, which consists of three teenage children.
“What is essential to us is that my kids know exactly who I am and who their mother is,” White added. “Our children are our first concern in this private family situation that has been played out in the open. When you mention being dissatisfied, who could possibly be more disappointed than your children?”
The only negative effects of the video were TBS’s agreement to carry White’s fledgling Power Slap league and the network’s decision to postpone the promotion’s debut by one week, to January 18, which White briefly addressed.
White claimed that the timing of what she did was neither excellent nor terrible. “Launching a slap-fighting league following a domestic violence incident is ironic, very ironic. However, the timing of what I did on New Year’s Eve was neither good nor bad.”
As the media scrum came to a close, White questioned whether the UFC would alter how it handles any future instances involving athletes or staff members who are accused of domestic violence, particularly in light of the organization’s decision not to ban White.
It all depends on the circumstances, but White hoped that everyone could see what was going on with him. “I hope this doesn’t happen,” White added. We are all human, and we all make errors, at the end of the day. All you can do is make an effort to learn from your mistakes in life. I’m not sure. It will certainly depend on the circumstances. I’m one of the many folks around here who frequently makes blunders.