LAS VEGAS — UFC President Dana White told reporters Wednesday that no one should defend his actions after he was caught on New Year’s Eve in Mexico slapping his wife in the VIP section of a nightclub. by night.
Appearing before members of the media at the UFC Apex to answer questions about the physical altercation for the first time, White, 53, also said he didn’t want his situation to distract from the public. athletes who will be competing in this weekend’s UFC Fight Night.
Earlier this month, White publicly apologized for the altercation in a video interview with TMZ.
“The focus is on [the fighters]“, White said. “These guys trained hard and prepared for this fight. What happened on New Year’s Eve is mine. My mistake. Not theirs.
“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. He doesn’t “There’s never an excuse. There’s no defense for that, and people shouldn’t defend me no matter what. All the criticism I’ve received this week is 100% justified.”
Wednesday’s impromptu press conference comes at a time when White’s major business partners declined to comment on the matter. ESPN, the UFC’s national broadcast partner, declined to comment. The same goes for Endeavour, the UFC’s parent company, and TBS, Dana White’s Power Slap League broadcast partner.
White said internal discussions regarding the incident have taken place, including with ESPN, and that he has already addressed – and will continue to address – his “punishment” over the incident.
“What should be the repercussions? White said. “I’m taking 30 days off? How does that hurt me? I told you while we were going through [the COVID-19 pandemic], COVID could last 10 years, and I could abstain. It’s kind of like COVID, actually. My departure harms the company. Hurts my employees. Hurts fighters. Don’t hurt me. I could have left in 2016 [when the company was acquired by Endeavor]. Do I need to think? I was against that. I owned this. I tell you that I am wrong.
“Here’s my punishment: I have to walk as long as I live – and that’s how I’m labeled now. My other punishment is that I’m sure a lot of people – be it the media, the fighters, the friends, acquaintances – who had respect for me might not have respect for me now. – day away?”
White described no changes to UFC policy regarding its athletes and domestic violence, which varied on a case-by-case basis. White has said in the past, “You don’t bounce back from getting your hands on a woman,” and he said Wednesday that was still the case.
“You don’t bounce off that,” White said. “For the rest of my life, people will call me that. I did.”
Video of the incident showed Dana White slapping his wife, Anne, in the face after she slapped him during a verbal altercation. In a separate statement to TMZ, Anne White said the matter was an isolated incident and was irrelevant. The two have been married for 27 years and have three children together. They reside in Las Vegas, where Dana White has served as UFC president since 2001.