July 12, 2024
It is time to consider a UFC without Dana White | UFC

Nine years back – in the wake of footage surfacing of former Baltimore Ravens managing back Ray Rice brutally assaulting his fiancée – UFC president Dana White took the option to communicate out against domestic violence.

“There’s a person detail that you by no means bounce back again from and which is putting your arms on a girl,” White explained to Fox Athletics Stay in 2014. “Been that way in the UFC considering the fact that we started out listed here. You never bounce back again from putting your hands on a woman.”

Regardless of White’s sturdy stance at the time, the 53-12 months-previous was lately caught on digicam in a physical altercation with his spouse, Anne, at a New Year’s Eve social gathering in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. Footage revealed by TMZ 0n Monday showed Anne slapping White at a nightclub. White then returned the slap and attempted to strike her again ahead of other individuals intervened.

Talking to TMZ the following day, White verified the “horrible” incident. “There’s under no circumstances at any time an excuse for a person to set his arms on a lady, and now right here I am on TMZ talking about it.”

“This is a single of those people scenarios which is awful, I’m humiliated – but it’s also just one of all those conditions that appropriate now we’re extra involved about our kids,” White ongoing. “We have 3 kids and obviously because the video clip popped up, we’ve demonstrated the young ones the movie, and we’re much more concentrated on our household correct now.”

The UFC president managed that the altercation was the “first time” that these types of an incident transpired. “I’m actually earning no excuses for this thing at all. It is by no means happened ahead of,” he mentioned.

In a different assertion to TMZ, Anne exposed that the couple had been “drinking much too substantially on New Year’s Eve and items acquired out of regulate, on both equally sides”.

Despite White’s try to regulate the narrative, his decision to physically assault his spouse raises queries about regardless of whether the UFC president is match to continue running the world’s premier combined martial arts firm.

White has served as UFC president for far more than two a long time, using up the mantle in 2001 when his enterprise associates, on line casino tycoons Lorenzo and Frank Fertitta, bought the UFC for $2m. In the course of White’s tenure, the UFC grew into a world-wide juggernaut and was at some point acquired for $4bn in July 2016 – the richest sale in the historical past of qualified sporting activities at the time.

However in spite of the UFC’s ongoing accomplishment and increasing financial gain margins, Endeavor, the media and entertainment firm that owns the UFC, saw its shares drop nearly 6{b037f4174007d005f1ab9cb8d1aafc050eb5d7e8c07298e478acc145e540df6a} immediately after information of the altercation grew to become public. This, coupled with the public relations nightmare of possessing the president of a fight sports activities entity strike his wife in general public, could force Endeavor to distance itself from White.

It is challenging to visualize a commissioner for a key sports league these as the NBA or NFL putting their lover with out dealing with sizeable effects. Even White, when questioned about whether NFL commissioner Roger Goodell must resign next his mishandling of the Rice domestic abuse scenario in 2014, suggested Goddell “should just get up and leave on his own”.

Yet, it is unlikely that White will facial area implications for his actions from the UFC, as the organization’s dealing with of domestic violence incidents has been inconsistent at most effective. Irrespective of White’s assert that fighters “never bounce back” from hitting gals, there are a lot of illustrations of UFC fighters who continued to battle for the corporation above the decades even with allegations of domestic or sexual assault.

In 2018, Greg Hardy – the former NFL defensive conclude when convicted for assaulting his ex-girlfriend – built his UFC debut on the very same celebration that also featured Rachael Ostovich, a fighter who was also a victim of domestic violence. When White eventually confronted criticism for his position on Hardy, he blamed the media for stirring trouble.

“I’m not enjoying this bullshit with you fellas. [Hardy] is on the UFC roster. Interval. Finish of story,” White reported at the time.

MMA is a activity that has extended been plagued by domestic violence. In 2015, HBO’s Genuine Sports unveiled that the amount of money of domestic violence arrests involving MMA fighters was far more than double the normal national price, and was considerably forward of NFL gamers. The sport continues to provide up large-profile domestic assault situations. In 2021, former UFC light-weight heavyweight winner Jon Jones was arrested pursuing an alleged incident involving his wife with their young children present just hrs just after he was inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame. He was at first charged with domestic violence but had the charge dropped next a plea deal with prosecutors.

A handful of weeks later, UFC Hall of Famer Chuck Liddell was arrested on a domestic violence cost in southern California involving his spouse. No expenses were being submitted following the arrest. White’s bodily altercation with his spouse is basically the newest in a prolonged line of domestic violence circumstances that have marred the UFC and the activity as a complete.

Endeavor, the father or mother firm of the UFC, and UFC have not responded to the Guardian’s request for comment. ESPN – the UFC’s broadcast associate – redirected the Guardian to the UFC’s public relations group.

In an ironic twist of destiny, White also comes about to be the confront of a new “competitive open up-handed striking” league referred to as Electrical power Slap. The so-named sport will aspect matches in which two competitors stand across from every other and trade slaps across the experience. Electric power Slap, which was developed by White and Lorenzo Fertitta in partnership with the UFC and Endeavor, is anticipated to debut its eight-episode series on TBS subsequent 7 days.

“I observed some footage of slap fighting on social media and I was instantaneously hooked,” White stated in a UFC push launch announcing the slap-combating league. “From the initially day I saw it, I felt like this could be massive.”

Outside of the clear controversy of owning a guy who slapped his spouse provide as the figurehead of a new slap-combating league, clinical professionals have expressed their skepticism relating to the organization’s wellness and security steps and irrespective of whether it will secure rivals from traumatic mind injuries.

Warner Media, the guardian organization of TBS, did not reply to a ask for for remark on White at the time of composing.

Though White’s most recent challenge is his new slap-fighting league, he stays synonymous with the UFC brand. On the other hand, his newest controversy could mark a turning point in the organization’s background –one that compels us to take into consideration a UFC without having Dana White at the helm.

As White himself the moment claimed: “You really do not bounce back from placing your arms on a girl.”