On Saturday, Dana White unilaterally yanked a judge from the UFC Fight Night: Macau show mid-stream. In his estimation, the fellow was incompetent. Now don’t blink, because Dana is doing something he hasn’t seemed wired to do: apologizing.
The UFC released this repentant statement on its website:
“After an internal review, the UFC organization announced today that a breach of its independent regulatory protocol occurred on Saturday night during UFC FIGHT NIGHT MACAO.
After the second fight of the night, UFC President Dana White requested that Howard Hughes, one of the event’s five assigned judges, be removed from working any further bouts. Pursuant to UFC’s protocol, neither White nor any other UFC executive possesses such authority. Nevertheless, protocol was breached and Hughes did not work further bouts on Saturday night.
The UFC organization has always been in support of government regulation and oversight. Additionally, the UFC has established a protocol when required to self-regulate events due to the lack of an official athletic commission, federation or other regulatory body. In those instances where UFC holds events in locations without a regulatory body, the UFC’s protocol dictates that the organization’s internal regulators will handle all commission functions independently and without interference by company executives or employees.
The UFC remains committed to maintaining the strictest regulatory environment for competition and vows that no similar breach of protocol will happen again.
Both White and the UFC apologize to Mr. Hughes for calling his professional judgment into question. Hughes has judged more than 25 UFC fight cards and the UFC looks forward to him working on its events again in the future.”
It bears mentioning that poor Judge Howard Hughes’s namesake was the great American business tycoon and aviator, one of the wealthiest people in the world in the 1930s. That version of Hughes nearly died several times in experimental aircraft before he became a strange recluse. When he finally died of kidney failure on April 5, 1976, the 6’4” man weighed 90 pounds. He had long fingernails and toenails, and was full of hypodermic needles and codeine.
People died right next to Hughes in those experimental aircraft flights. But Howard Hughes lived. In the end, the only thing that could kill Howard Hughes was himself. Now, his spirit has been reincarnated inside the body of a gym owner, Muay Thai coach, and indestructible UFC judge from Planet Combat in England.
As George Santayana said, “. . . When experience is not retained, as among savages, infancy is perpetual. Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” And if Dana were a student of aviation history, he would know that picking an infantile fight against the indestructible Howard Hughes was a fight he could not win.