MMA/UFC

Dana White responds to critics on lack of punishment for NYE incident: ‘The only thing that matters is my personal life’

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Dana White responds to critics on lack of punishment for NYE incident: ‘The only thing that matters is my personal life’
Photo by Louis Grasse/PxImages/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Dana White pushed back at the notion that the lack of professional consequences he’s faced for his New Year’s Eve altercation with his wife has been unsatisfactory.

“The only thing that matters is my personal life. What else is there?” White said Saturday at UFC Vegas 67‘s post-fight press conference.

“I told you, I was going to leave in 2016 with the sale. Could’ve sat out during COVID. What should my punishment be? And you say, ‘There’s going to be repercussions in your personal life, but none in your professional life.’ But what matters other than my personal life? Nothing. Nothing matters except for my personal life. This is great, love doing it. Don’t have to do it.”

White was recently caught on video striking his wife, Anne, multiple times at a club in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico on New Year’s Eve. In the clip, which was released by TMZ two weeks ago, White can be seen grabbing Anne’s wrist, which leads to her slapping him in the face. The UFC president then responds by slapping her twice in the face before bystanders jump into the argument and the clip ends.

White has made no excuses for his actions and has repeatedly expressed contrition, however many media critics have called for White to face some sort of professional sanctions or to step down; the California Legislative Women’s Caucus called for White to be removed as UFC president.

This past week, in his first public press conference since the incident, White stated that his punishment will be the label he has to carry for the rest of his life.

“We’ve had plenty of discussions internally, with Ari [Emanuel], ESPN. Nobody’s happy. Nobody’s happy about this,” White said last week. “Neither am I. But it happened, and I have to deal with it. And what is my punishment? Here’s my punishment: I’ve got to walk around for however long I live — is it 10.4 years, or is it another 25 years — and this is how I’m labeled now. 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’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 a] 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 reiterated that same stance on Saturday.

He also stated that his upcoming slap organization, Dana White’s Power Slap League, was never in danger of being canceled after the video broke. The promotion’s original debut on TBS was postponed back a week from Jan. 11 to Jan. 18, however its first season is still scheduled to be televised and White will remain the front man of the venture.

“Everything’s the same,” White said. “We pushed it back a week because I was supposed to come back and do this whole media tour, which obviously wasn’t going to happen when I got back.

“I feel good. I think that it’s insanely entertaining and I think people are going to like it.”

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