Dana White has officially apologized after becoming so frustrated with the judging in the preliminary fights at UFC Fight Night 48 event in Macau on Saturday that he removed one of the judges, Howard Hughes, from officiating for the rest of the event.
The first two fights of the event had ended with controversial split decision verdicts which prompted White to make a knee-jerk decision.
“I told the guys to go let him grab some beer and some popcorn and go sit down and start watching some fights, not judging them,” White told reporters after the event.
His actions have resulted in something of a backlash with many suggesting that he shouldn’t have become involved regardless of how good or bad the judging was and that he was abusing his power as the UFC’s president.
The UFC appear to agree with that assessment as today they have released a statement in which both the company and White apologize for what they term as a breach of protocol.
“After an internal review, the UFC organization announced today that a breach of its independent regulatory protocol occurred on Saturday night during UFC FIGHT NIGHT MACAO.
After the second fight of the night, UFC President Dana White requested that Howard Hughes, one of the event’s five assigned judges, be removed from working any further bouts. Pursuant to UFC’s protocol, neither White nor any other UFC executive possesses such authority. Nevertheless, protocol was breached and Hughes did not work further bouts on Saturday night.
The UFC organization has always been in support of government regulation and oversight. Additionally, the UFC has established a protocol when required to self-regulate events due to the lack of an official athletic commission, federation or other regulatory body. In those instances where UFC holds events in locations without a regulatory body, the UFC’s protocol dictates that the organization’s internal regulators will handle all commission functions independently and without interference by company executives or employees.
The UFC remains committed to maintaining the strictest regulatory environment for competition and vows that no similar breach of protocol will happen again.
Both White and the UFC apologize to Mr. Hughes for calling his professional judgment into question. Hughes has judged more than 25 UFC fight cards and the UFC looks forward to him working on its events again in the future.”
Unlike in many other parts of the world, since there’s no official governing body to oversee the event in Macau, the UFC self-regulates there, and while White is often critical of the way athletic commissions handle their affairs, he admitted on Saturday after the event that the way the UFC runs things isn’t perfect either.
“It wasn’t great tonight,” White acknowledged. “It wasn’t, and it drives me crazy. So, I can sit there and ridicule Nevada, California (athletic commissions) and all these other places we go, but nobody to point the finger at tonight except for us.”