For the second time since the video of him slapping his wife in the face in a nightclub in Cabo went viral, Dana White is speaking out about the incident. The UFC president made an appearance during the UFC Vegas 67 media day on Wednesday.
As he did with the initial interview with TMZ, White admitted to hitting his spouse. He was also made aware of those coming to his defense, something he discouraged.
“One thing that I do want to clarify in this thing that I didn’t talk about on TMZ, ‘cause I didn’t expect it and I didn’t see it coming is the people that are defending me. There’s never an excuse,” he told the media.
“There’s no defense for this, and 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.
“I said it before and now I’m saying it after I’d done it: you don’t ever do it. Don’t defend me. Don’t anybody defend me. There’s no reason to even try to defend me. And I don’t want any of our fighters in this position where they feel like they have to.”
What critics are pointing out is the seeming inaction from the UFC brass, and its owners Endeavor. ESPN, the UFC broadcast partner, has also been criticized for its coverage of the incident.
But for White, the heftier “punishment” is happening in his life outside of work.
“What should the repercussions be? I take 30 days off? How does that hurt me?
“Me leaving hurts the company. Hurts my employees. Hurts the fighters. Doesn’t hurt me. I could’ve left in 2016. Do I need to reflect? No, I don’t need to reflect.
“We’ve had plenty of discussions internally, with Ari, ESPN… nobody’s happy. Nobody’s happy about this. Neither am I. But it happened, and I have to deal with it.
“And what is my punishment? Here’s my punishment: I gotta walk around for however long I live — is it 10.4 years or another 25 years — and this is how I’m labelled now.”
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