UFC president Dana White has escaped punishment from his bosses after being filmed slapping his wife in a nightclub on New Year’s Eve.
Following the release of the vision, which captures White slapping his wife after she slapped him in a nightclub in Mexico, the UFC president has faced external pressure to leave his post, even though the promotion’s owners have remained silent.
Speaking to the media in person for the first time since the video surfaced, White said his punishment is the lost respect and public humiliation he’ll have to endure for the rest of his life.
LIVE SUMMER OF TENNIS UPDATES: Kyrgios claps back at ‘clueless’ Pat Rafter
READ MORE: Legend slams Kyrgios-Novak ‘extravaganza’
READ MORE: Tennis legend’s plea to Osaka amid pregnancy news
“What should the repercussions be? You tell me,” White said.
“I take 30 days off? How does that hurt me? I told you guys when we were going through COVID, COVID could last 10 years. I could have sat it out.
“It’s much like COVID, actually. Me leaving hurts the company, hurts my employees, hurts the fighters. It doesn’t hurt me.
“I could have left in 2016. I don’t know, do I need to reflect? No, I don’t need to reflect. The next morning when I woke up … I’ve been against this. I’ve owned this. I’m telling you that I was wrong.
“Listen, we’ve had plenty of discussions internally with Ari [Emanuel, the Endeavour CEO], ESPN. Nobody’s happy. Nobody’s happy about this. Neither am I, but it happened and I have to deal with it.
“What is my punishment? You’re my punishment. I’ve got to walk around for however long I live, whether it’s 10.4 years or another 25 years and this is how I’m labelled now.
“My other punishment is 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 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, 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.”
For now the only repercussions White has to face is a broadcast delay of his “Power Slap League” which was moved from January 11 to January 18 with a television debut on TBS in the US.
The UFC’s broadcast partner, ESPN, has also remained tight-lipped about the issue, with reporter Jeff Wagenheim confirming the company has urged its employees to address the incident on social media, while paid commentators on the network have been skewered for their soft approach.
In his initial apology aired on TMZ, White said he and his wife had never engaged in a fight like the one witnessed on New’s Year’s Eve.
Commentators online are furious about the lack of action, especially after previous comments White had made about domestic abuse, saying there is no way to come back from it as a man.
Even quotes from an interview with White’s mum from 2011 have resurfaced. In the interview to promote her unauthorised biography of her son titled “Dana White, King of MMA,” she described White as a “vindictive tyrant” who treats women poorly.
“He’s not a good person,” June said in the 2011 interview. “He seems to have lost his character somewhere along the way. He mistreats people. It’s terrible the way he speaks to women and treats women.
“Everyone knows that he puts Tiger Woods to shame,” she added. “Plenty of the ring card girls sleep with him. There’s two of them I know for sure. … He slept with his sister-in-law in my house, which made me absolutely furious.”
She continued: “I mean, he goes after any girl he wants and usually gets them. “His wife is – they’re constantly fighting. The honeymoon, she gave him the worst black eye I’ve ever seen and nearly lost his eye. So I don’t know if that’s his way of handling that, but he’s gone overboard with handling that.”
White reiterated at his press conference that he’s been punished, and that he’ll never recover from the incident.
“You don’t bounce back from this. You don’t ever bounce back from this,” White said.
“For the rest of my life, like I said, however long that is, people are going to label me that. I did it. That’s it. I did it. … You don’t bounce back from it. You wake up every day and try to be better than you were yesterday, and you make sure that that never happens again.
“Whatever steps you’d have to take to make sure that you’re never in that situation and that never happens again, that’s what I need to do. And it’s a fact. There’s a couple things in life that you don’t bounce back from, and this is one of them. That’s a fact.”
For a daily dose of the best of the breaking news and exclusive content from Wide World of Sports, subscribe to our newsletter by clicking here