Ariel Helwani Reacts To Dana White’s Own ‘Punishment’ For Wife Slap: ‘Regret Isn’t A Punishment, It’s A Consequence’

Helwani responds to White's comments at a UFC media day.

Ariel Helwani And Dana White
Ariel Helwani And Dana White

Ariel Helwani had a lot to say when it came to Dana White‘s surprise appearance at a UFC media day.

Of course, this wouldn’t be the prominent MMA journalist’s first time addressing White’s situation following video of the UFC President slapping his wife on New Year’s Eve. Weeks after talking to TMZ and facing criticism from Helwani (and many others), White would ‘face the music’ at UFC Vegas 67 media day and answered questions from the press regarding his controversy.

‘You Have To Pay The Consequences’

In the scrum, White said the only punishment he had from hitting his wife was that he’d have to live with it for the rest of the life. However, Helwani isn’t a fan of the UFC boss not receiving any actual repercussions for his actions. 

“I appreciate the fact that he has to be introspective here, but just because you live with something, that doesn’t mean that it’s a [punishment],” Helwani said on The MMA Hour. “You could say that to any criminal then, like ‘you’re gonna have to live with the fact that you hit that person while drunk driving’. No, you have to pay the consequences. You think everyone who drives drunk and gets into an accident, feels good about it? No, they don’t. And they’ll be labeled as such for the rest of their life.

“There’s still consequences. Like it’s not just the feelings world that we’re living in here, and I certainly don’t think [White] subscribes to that. So again, I think we have to recognize and respect the fact that he is up there facing the music and he’s being introspective aI think he is being, to a certain degree, being genuine, but this idea that we’re gonna ask him to punish himself or want to know what he thinks the punishment is, or this justification that ‘because I have to live with my actions, that’s punishment enough’ doesn’t fly because it doesn’t fly in any society. That’s not the society we live in.”

‘We Don’t Get To Decide What Our Punishments Are’

Helwani wasn’t done yet. After concluding the segment on his show, the journalist continued his spout on White through social media. 

“Let’s keep it real. This is not how life works, and he knows it,” Helwani wrote on Instagram. “We all face repercussions for our actions. We don’t get to decide what our punishments are. And if you do bad things, you don’t get say your punishment is just having to live with those bad feelings and that’s it.

“No, in life, you have to live with those feelings AND face consequences. That’s just how it goes. Regret isn’t a punishment. It’s a consequence. Big difference. So while I do respect the fact that he’s addressing last week’s incident again, this falls very flat. If you or I did this y’all know full well our punishment – and actual punishment – would be way worse than whatever picture he is painting. And again, dismissing a “30-day or 60-day absence” is proving that the point is being missed here.

“The point is, what kind of message are you sending to your staff and your fighters?” Helwani added. “If this behavior goes unchecked what happens the next time someone does this? Nothing? They just have to live with bad feelings? Again, that’s not how life works.”

Published on January 13, 2023 at 3:10 pm
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