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UFC President Dana White promptly apologized for a video that surfaced of him slapping his wife at a club in Mexico on New Year’s Eve. After more than a week of backlash, White is addressing the ramifications of the video and saying he is looking to find a way forward.
During an interview on Wednesday, ahead of the scheduled UFC Vegas 67, White took accountability for the video and went as far as saying he wants no defenders in this situation.
White expressed that he looks to progress and keep the spotlight on his fighters.
“It’s something I’m going to have to deal with and live with for the rest of my life,” White said. “There’s never an excuse. I’m sure you guys have read some of the same stuff that I’ve seen. There’s no defense for this, and people should not be defending me over this thing, no matter what. All the criticism that I have received this week is 100 percent warranted and will receive in the future…”
The UFC president assured members of the media that he and his wife were disgusted by the footage. White also noted that he does not expect discipline from the UFC and its partners (including parent company, Endeavor) and has no intentions of stepping down as president.
Following the viral video’s impact, White and his 27-year spouse, Anne, publicly apologized, calling it a hurtful moment for their three children.
White discussed the long-term ramifications he expects from reaction to the video and that with good intentions moving forward, he’ll have to “deal with it.”
“Nobody’s happy about this. Neither am I, but it happened, and I have to deal with it. What is my punishment? You’re my punishment. I’ve got to walk around for however long I live, whether it’s 10.4 years or another 25 years, and this is how I’m labeled now.
“My other punishment is 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’m going to have to deal with for the rest of my life that are way more of a punishment than what, I take a 30-day, 60-day absence. That’s not a punishment to me. The punishment is that I did it, and now I have to deal with it.”
White didn’t just say his piece; he set a precedent.
“I guarantee you it’ll never happen again,” White added. “Nobody should be defending me. There aren’t two sides to the story. There’s only my side. …
“But at the end of the day, we’re all human beings. We all make mistakes. All you can do is try to recover from the mistakes that you make in life. Yeah, I don’t know. I’m sure it’ll be on a case-by-case basis. We have a lot of people around here that make a lot of mistakes. I’m one of them.”