UFC president Dana White has spoken publicly on the New Year’s Eve altercation with his wife for the first time since the incident.
Footage showed Anne with her husband standing on a balcony above the dance floor and things quickly erupted between the two.
As she attempted to walk away, White reached out to grab one of her hands before she slapped him in the face, to which he hit her back with an open hand.
Ahead of the UFC’s first event of the year, White held a press conference in which he discussed the matter for the first time since a brief interview with TMZ.
He claimed that no repercussions would be coming his way outside of a damaged reputation.
Ariel Helwani addressed Dana White’s “punishment” for slapping his wife. pic.twitter.com/mhRxKh8EW0— Wrestling News (@WrestlingNewsCo) January 11, 2023
He told reporters, via MMA Junkie: “What should the repercussions be? You tell me.”
“I take 30 days off? How does that hurt me? I told you guys when we were going through COVID, COVID could last 10 years. I could sit it out. It’s much like COVID actually. Me leaving hurts the company, hurts my employees, hurts the fighters. It doesn’t hurt me.
“I could’ve left in 2016. You know what I mean? I don’t know. Do I need to reflect? No, I don’t need to reflect. The next morning when I woke up (I reflected). I’ve been against this. I’ve owned this. I’m telling you that I’m wrong.”
The MMA honcho confirmed that discussions had been had with UFC stakeholders about the next moves.
However, he says the only punishment he will face comes in his personal life.
He continued: “Nobody is happy. Nobody is happy about this. Neither am I. But it happened, and I have to deal with it.
“What is my punishment? Here’s my punishment: I have to walk around for however long I live – Is it 10.4 years, or is it another 25 years? – and this is how I’m labelled now.
“My other punishment is 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.”
Dana White: "We've had plenty of discussions internally. With Ari [Emanuel], ESPN. Nobody is happy about this. Neither am I. But it happened and I have to deal with it. What is my punishment? Here is my punishment: I gotta walk around... and this is how I'm labelled" pic.twitter.com/YLuXPzL6Vu— Shakiel Mahjouri (@Shak_Fu) January 11, 2023
Since the incident, many fans online surprisingly have come out in support of White, stating that his wife slapped first.
However, White has asked those same people to stop spreading that message.
He said: “There’s never a reason or an excuse for what happened on New Year’s Eve to ever happen – period.
Adding: “Other than that, this is the first time it’s ever happened, and I guarantee you it’ll never happen again. Nobody should be defending me. There aren’t two sides to the story. There’s only my side.”
The 53-year-old noted that he is only a human being and human beings make mistakes.
Featured Image Credit: ESPN MMA/YouTube. TMZ.