UFC president Dana White told reporters Wednesday that no one should defend his actions after he was videotaped on New Year’s Eve in Mexico slapping his wife in the VIP section of a nightclub.
Appearing before members of the media at the UFC Apex to answer questions on the physical altercation for the first time, White, he also said he didn’t want his situation to distract from athletes ready to compete in the UFC Fight Night this weekend.
Earlier this month, White offered a public apology for the altercation in a video interview with TMZ Sports.
“The focus is on [the fighters],” White said. “These guys have trained hard and gotten ready for this fight. What happened on New Year’s Eve is mine. My mistake. Not theirs.
“One thing I do want to clarify in this thing that I didn’t talk about on TMZ, because I didn’t expect it or I didn’t see it coming, is the people that are defending me. There’s never an excuse. There’s no defense for this, and people should not be defending me, no matter what. All the criticism I’ve received this week is 100% warranted.”
He also talked about if he were to take a leave of absence or quit it would only hurt the fighters.
“What should the repercussions be?” White said. “I take 30 days off? How does that hurt me? I told you guys as we were going through [the COVID-19 pandemic], COVID could last 10 years, and I could sit it out. It’s much like COVID, actually. Me leaving hurts the company. Hurts my employees. Hurts the fighters. Doesn’t hurt me. I could’ve left in 2016 [when the company was acquired by Endeavor]. Do I need to reflect? I’ve been against this. I’ve owned this. I’m telling you that I’m wrong.
“Here’s my punishment: I have to walk around for however long I live — and this is how I’m labeled now. My other punishment is that I’m sure a lot of people — whether it be media, fighters, friends, acquaintances — who had respect for me might not have respect for me now. There’s a lot of things I have to deal with the rest of my life that’s way more of a punishment than, what, I take a 30-day or 60-day absence?”
He added, “You don’t bounce back from putting your hands on a woman.”
“You don’t bounce back from this,” White said. “For the rest of my life, people will label me that. I did it.”
When the host of FS1’s Speak Joy Taylor caught wind of what white said, Taylor shared, “Why would he decide his own punishment? Any other commissioner or face of a pro league would be gone immediately.”