Dana White, president of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), shut down a reporter who suggested one fighter was provoking “racial undertones.”
Middleweight Champion Israel Adesanya and fellow fighter Dricus Du Plessis engaged in a heated exchange after Du Plessis defeated Robert Whittaker with a technical knockout (TKO) in the second round during Saturday’s UFC 290 in Paradise, Nevada.
During the post-event press conference, one reporter commented on “tension” and “racial undertones” regarding Adesanya and Du Plessis’ exchange with the UFC president.
“What were the racial undertones?” White asked.
The reporter noted Du Plessis remark about being the “real African fighter” along with Adesanya’s use of a racial slur.
White remained confused by the reporter’s question, asking who dropped racial undertones during the exchange to which the reporter clarified Adesanya repeatedly used “about 50 n-bombs.”
“Okay, he’s black,” White responded shrugging. “Who gives a s—?”
— Jason Howerton (@jason_howerton) July 9, 2023
The reporter reiterated his question by asking if White had any concerns over tension between the fighters.
“I could care less,” the UFC president responded. “This is the fight business. Israel Adesanya can say whatever he wants to say. Who gives a s—?”
“Are people b—-ing about that?” White asked the reporter, who replied “some people are.”
“Of course they are,” White said, dismissing the reporter. “To f—ing bad.”
Comedian and UFC commentator Joe Rogan interviewed Du Plessis following his fight with Whittaker noting his next fight would be against the Middleweight champion.
“This is my African brother right here,” Adesanya said of the South African born Du Plessis.
“Let’s go, n—a,” Adesanya said as the fighters stared each other down. “What’s up, b—-? Let’s go, n—a.”
— Jmag (@jmagings) July 9, 2023
“Yeah my African brother,” Adesanya continued.
“I’m African but I ain’t no brother of yours, son,” Du Plessis responded, asking what Adesanya tells everyone back home in New Zealand.
“I don’t need a DNA test,” Adesanya said, commenting on Du Plessis’ South African heritage. “I don’t need a 36 and Me to know where I’m from.”
“Do a 26 and Me DNA test, it’ll tell you where you’re from. I’ll show you where you’re from!”
Following the event, Adesanya shared a clip of the interaction on his Twitter account.
If you ain’t my brother, you ain’t African!!
I will show you where you’re from, NIGGA‼️ pic.twitter.com/iYGoBGIcB8
— Israel Adesanya (@stylebender) July 9, 2023
“If you ain’t my brother, you ain’t African!!” the fighter wrote. “I will show you where you’re from, N—A!!”