UFC president Dana White said “owning” up to a viral physical altercation with his wife on New Year’s Eve is a sufficient repurcussion.
White further noted stepping away from the company would punish UFC employees and fighters more than himself.
“It was obviously a horrible personal experience,” White told reporters on Wednesday. “There’s no excuses for it. It’s something that I’m gonna have to deal with and live with for the rest of my life.”
One thing I do want to clarify … is the people that are defending me. 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. People should not be defending me, no matter what. All the criticism that I’ve received this week, and will receive in the future, is 100-percent warranted.
Dana White rejects any punishment from UFC for slapping wife. He says his punishment is being lived every day because people who once respected him no longer do 👀 pic.twitter.com/mUcOi6ApeW
— Daily Loud (@DailyLoud) January 12, 2023
“What should the repercussions be? You tell me. I take 30 days off?” White asked. “How does that hurt me? Me leaving hurts the company. Hurts my employees. Hurts the fighters. Doesn’t hurt me. I could have left in 2016. Do I need to reflect? No, I don’t need to reflect. The next morning when I woke up … I own this. I’m telling you that I’m wrong.”
“I’ve got to walk around for however long I live — is it 10.4 years or another 25 years? — and this is how I’m labeled now,” White continued. “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 are a lot of things I’m gonna have to deal with for the rest of my life that are much more of a punishment than, what, I take a 30-60-day absence?”
White and wife Anne were seen together in a VIP group at a Cabo San Lucas nightclub on New Year’s Eve. White can be seen whispering something to his wife to which she responds by striking the UFC president in the face. Mr. White responded similarly by striking his wife in the face as fellow attendees apprehended the two.
“You’ve heard me say over the years, ‘There is never, ever an excuse for a guy to put his hands on a woman,’ and now here I am on TMZ talking about it,” White said in a statement to the outlet. “My wife and I have been married for almost 30 years. We’ve known each other since we were 12 years old.”
“I’m embarrassed — but it’s also one of those situations that right now we’re more concerned about our kids,” White added. “We have three kids and obviously, since the video popped up, we’ve shown the kids the video and we’re more focused on our family right now.”
The couple was “heavily intoxicated” leading up to the altercation, according to eyewitnesses in the club, TMZ reported.
“To say this is out of character for him is an understatement — nothing like this has ever happened before,” White’s wife told TMZ. “Unfortunately, we were both drinking too much on New Year’s Eve and things got out of control, on both sides. We’ve talked this through as a family and apologized to each other. I just hope people will respect our privacy for the sake of our kids.”