Dana White rejects any punishment resulting from a physical altercation with his wife on New Years Eve

Dana White rejects any punishment resulting from a physical altercation with his wife on New Years Eve

Dana White rejects any punishment resulting from a physical altercation with his wife on New Years Eve

In an effort to put the focus back on his fighters entering the first UFC fight card of 2023 this weekend, embattled chairman Dana White addressed reporters during Wednesday’s UFC Fight Night media day in Las Vegas following a New Year’s Eve domestic dispute that was caught on camera. .

White, 53, who previously accepted blame during an interview with TMZ last week when a video of him and his 27-year-old wife, Anne, aired. exchanging slaps in a nightclub in Mexicoended the much-criticized silence from the UFC, parent company Endeavor and broadcast partner ESPN following the incident.

“There’s no excuse for this and it’s something I’m going to have to deal with and live with for the rest of my life,” White said. “One thing I want to clarify in this thing that I didn’t talk about on TMZ, because I didn’t expect it or didn’t see it coming, is people standing up for me.

“There’s never an excuse. There’s no defense for this and people shouldn’t defend me on this no matter what. All the criticism I’ve received this week is justified. 100% and that I will receive in the future.”

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White answered questions for nearly 14 minutes with the MMA media, just days away from Saturday’s card at the UFC Apex, headlined by middleweights Nassourdine Imavov and Sean Strickland, who will fight at 205 pounds . The majority of the talk, however, centered on whether or not any repercussions should be passed on to White, including those of the self-imposed variety.

“[If] I’m taking 30 days off, how does that hurt me?” White said. “The fact that I’m leaving hurts the company, hurts my employees and hurts the fighters. It doesn’t hurt me, I could have left [when UFC was sold] in 2016. Should I think? No, I don’t need to think.

“I’ve been against it, I’ve owned it. I’m telling you I’m wrong. But look, we’ve had a lot of discussions internally – from [Endeavor CEO] Ari [Emmanuel], ESPN – no one is happy. Me niether. But it happened and I have to deal with it.”

White, who was humble in both tone and demeanor, argued that no punishment for him was punishment enough.

“Do you want to know my punishment? Here’s my punishment: I have to walk as long as I live…and that’s how I’m labeled now,” White said. “My other punishment is that I’m sure there are a lot of people – be it media, friends, acquaintances – who had respect for me, might not have respect for me. There’s a lot of things that I’m going to have to face for the rest of my life that’s more of a punishment.

“The punishment is that I did it and now I have to deal with it.”

Endeavour, which bought the UFC for over $4 billion from Zuffa in 2016, chose not to comment at all. Meanwhile, White has been regularly supported on social media by a legion of fans, fighters and even some members of the media, which White repeatedly spoke out against on Wednesday, reiterating that what he did was not. deserves no apology, regardless of the spouse. hit the other first.

“There’s only one side to this, that’s my side,” White said. “There’s never a reason or an excuse for what happened on New Year’s Eve to happen, period.”

Neither White nor his wife faced any legal charges stemming from the incident and both apologized to each other, per White. He also revealed their decision to stay together, focusing exclusively on fixing their family, which includes three teenagers.

“My kids know exactly who I am and they know exactly who their mom is and that’s what’s important to us,” White said. “This is a personal family matter that has been played out in public and our biggest focus is our children. You talk about being disappointed, who is going to be more disappointed than your children in this scenario?”

The only fallout from the video came from TBS, which signed a deal to air White’s Power Slap League, and the network’s decision to delay the launch of the slap fight promotion a week to January 18, this which White briefly touched on.

“There’s no right or wrong timing for what I did,” White said. ‚ÄúThere is irony, it is very ironic [launching a slap-fighting league after a domestic violence incident]. But there’s no right or wrong time for what I did on New Year’s Eve.”

The media scrum ended with White asking if the UFC would change how it handles any future incidents involving fighters or employees accused of domestic violence, particularly following the promotion’s decision not to suspend White. .

“It all depends on different situations, but I hope everyone sees what’s going on with me and I hope that doesn’t happen,” White said. “At the end of the day, we’re all human beings and we all make mistakes. All you can do is try to recover from the mistakes you make in life. I don’t know. I’m sure that it will be on a case by case basis. We have a lot of people here who make a lot of mistakes and I am one of them.

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