Dana White Speaks To Media About Wife-Slap Scandal Ahead Of 1st 2023 Event

Ahead of the UFC’s first event of the year on Saturday night Dana, White sat down with the media yesterday to talk about the shocking incident caught on camera from a club in Cabo, Mexico on New Years Eve that showed him retaliating with a slap of his own when his wife slapped him, and you can watch what he had to say in full in the video below.

As was the case in his initial interview with TMZ immediately after the footage first emerged, White expressed regret and took full responsibility for his actions that night, while also insisting that no-one should be trying to defend what he did and stating that all the criticism he’s received is warranted.

It’s clear that White doesn’t intend to just hide away and hope this scandal blows over, and the fact that he’s still representing the company despite increasing pressure for him to resign suggests that, for now at least, his business partners in Endeavor and ESPN are on-board with that.

“listen, we’ve had plenty of discussions internally, with Ari [Emanuel], ESPN. Nobody’s happy. Nobody’s happy about this,” White said. “Neither am I. But it happened, and I have to deal with it.”

When asked directly about being the possibility of being punished, White brushed aside talk of a leave of absence (and notably didn’t even bring up the possibility of leaving the UFC), reasoning that taking time off work wouldn’t actually hurt him in any way, while also suggesting that his real punishment was now having the stigma for the rest of his life of being known as someone who had hit a woman.

“I’ve got to walk around for however long I live — is it 10.4 years or another 25 years? — and this is how I’m labelled now. My other punishment is that 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 are a lot of things I’m gonna have to deal with for the rest of my life that are much more of a punishment than, what, I take a 30-60-day absence?”

There’s undoubtedly a double-standard here as in the past White has had a firm no-tolerance policy with regards to UFC fighters who have been involved in similar situations over the years, but nonetheless it seems his intention is to stay on in his current role and will now be hoping to put this matter behind him and move on, though that may prove to be easier said than done.

Ross launched MMA Insight (previously FightOfTheNight.com) in 2009 as a way to channel his passion for the sport of mixed martial arts. He's since penned countless news stories and live fight reports along with dozens of feature articles as the lead writer for the site, reaching millions of fans in the process.