Dana White has had a disastrous start to the New Year after shocking video footage emerged from the El Squid Roe nightclub in Cabo, Mexico on New Years Eve that showed him and his wife in a physical confrontation.
White’s wife, Anne, appeared to be upset in the video, filmed from a distance by an onlooker, and after he said something to her she responds angrily by slapping him in the face, leading to the UFC President responding with a slap of his own. A brief struggle between the two ensues before they are then separated.
The 53-year-old White has since spoken out about the incident to TMZ, expressing his regret that it happened and issuing an apology for his actions.
“I am one of the guys who says there is never, ever an excuse for a guy to put his hands on a woman and now here I am on TMZ talking about it,” White said.
“This is one of those situations that is horrible. I am embarrassed. We have three kids and since the video popped up, we have shown the kids and we are more focused on our family right now.
“People are going to have their opinions on this and people’s opinions would be right, especially in my case. You don’t put your hands on a woman, ever.”
Anne White also issued a statement, blaming the altercation on both having been drinking heavily that night.
“To say this is out of character for him is an understatement – nothing like this has ever happened before.
“Unfortunately, we were both drinking too much on New Year’s Eve and things got out of control, on both sides. We’ve talked this through as a family and apologized to each other.”
Nevertheless, it goes without saying that this is a very bad look for the long-time public face of the UFC and it remains to be seen what the repercussions for him may be. White himself has traditionally taken a no-tolerance approach to domestic violence, once stating in 2014 that, “‘here’s one thing that you never bounce back from and that’s putting your hands on a woman. Been that way in the UFC since we started here. You don’t bounce back from putting your hands on a woman.”
The timing also couldn’t be worse given that White has somewhat controversially championed the new ‘Power Slap League’, a questionable “sport” that sees two opponents slapping each other in the face until one can’t continue.
Despite health concerns due to the recipients having no way to defend themselves while being slapped, White has been bullish about his new venture with former UFC owner Lorenzo Fertitta, stating that he’s “really into this”, while managing to secure an eight-episode series for the PSL on TBS that is due to begin airing on Wednesday, January 11th.
The UFC’s own 2023 schedule begins just a few days later on Saturday, January 14th with UFC Fight Night 217 in Las Vegas and at that stage it’s unclear if White will be in attendance.