Dana White Says He Shouldn’t Be Defended ‘No Matter What’ After Wife Slap: ‘There’s No Defense For This’

White urges that no one defends him for slapping his wife.

ESPN Dana White Controversy
Credit: Dana White / Instagram

Dana White has once again addressed hitting his wife on New Year’s Eve.

White Speaks Out

In the prelude to the UFC’s first event of 2023, the UFC President made a surprise appearance at media day on Wednesday. White would talk to the press regarding his controversy for the first time since talking to TMZ about hitting his wife earlier this month.

“The focus of media day should be on the fighters, their training and getting ready for their fights. What happened on New Year’s eve is my mistake, not their’s,” White said. “If one of the fighters wants to voice their opinion on it, then by all means, they can.

“I’m sure you guys have seen the TMZ video and seen my interview. It was obviously a horrible personal experience and there’s no excuses for it. It’s something that I’m going to have to deal with and live with for the rest of my life.”

‘There’s No Defense For This’

White says he shouldn’t have anybody defending him for his actions on NYE.

“One thing that I do want to clarify, that I didn’t talk about on TMZ, because I didn’t expect it and I didn’t see it coming are the people defending me. There’s never an excuse… there’s no defense for this. People should not be defending me over this thing, no matter what.

“All the criticism that I have received this week is 100% warranted and will receive in the future and you know me, especially when the people that I don’t like start coming after me, nobody fires back more than I do.”

“Everybody has an opinion on this and they’re right to have their own opinions,” White added. “I was very opinionated on this too and I still am. My reason for being here today is that I wanted you to focus on (the fighters) and not me.”

White Says There Won’t Be Any Repercussions From The Slap

Many have called for repercussions when it comes to Dana White, including a women’s caucus who called for White to be fired from his position as the UFC boss. However, it doesn’t appear that anything like that will happen.

“What should the repercussions be?” White responded to a reporter regarding potential punishment for the slap. “You tell me. I take 30 days off? How does that hurt me? Me leaving hurts the company, hurts my employees, hurts the fighters. It doesn’t hurt me. I could have left in 2016.”

“I’ve been against this, I’ve owned this. I’m telling you that I’m wrong. We’ve had plenty of discussions internally with Ari (Emanuel), ESPN, nobody’s happy about this, neither am I. But it happened and I have to deal with it…”

White’s Personal ‘Punishment’

While there won’t be a slap on the wrist for the UFC President, White acknowledges he’ll have to live with it for the rest of his life.

“Here’s my punishment, I have to walk around for however long I live and this is how I’m labelled now. My other punishment is that 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 that 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 or 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 Reacts To His Comments From 2014

Almost a decade ago, White sounded off on football star Ray Rice punching his fiancé, saying “There’s one thing that you never bounce back from and that’s putting your hands on a woman.” Fast forward to present day, White has responded to this past quote of his.

“You don’t ever bounce back from this,” White said. “For the rest of my life, however long that is, people are going to label me that. I did it! You don’t bounce back from it.”

Dana White has been the president of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) since 2001.

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