UFC president Dana White took the unprecedented step of firing Miguel Torres from the promotion yesterday due to a Twitter joke he had posted about rape, and hours later he gave a full explanation for his decision to Ariel Helwani.
Credit to Helwani who asks all the right questions throughout this 16 minute interview and doesn’t let White off the hook easily.
Even so, I still can’t say I feel that I fully understand where White is coming from. The main thrust of his arguement appears to be that Torres didn’t seem to be remorseful about what he had said and claimed it was just a joke.
My problem with that is White admits he didn’t speak to him personally about it, whereas he did in the previous cases with Rashad Evans and Forrest Griffin.
White also contradicts himself later when pressed about why he took the extreme measure of releasing Torres rather than suspending or fining him, stating, “I just can’t do it. You can’t tweet something like that and not expect this to happen. It’s impossible.”
Frankly it’s baffling how White can say that yet somehow deem it ok for Evans, at a press conference for the UFC’s first big event of 2012 on FOX no less, to make an antagonistic joke about an ongoing news story regarding children allegedly being molested by a Penn State wrestling coach.
After watching this interview I’m even more convinced by my initial response yesterday to this breaking story that it’s a major PR blunder by the UFC.
Judge for yourselves by watching the full interview below courtesy of MMAFighting.