UFC president Dana White has not been hit with legal repercussions since a video showed he allegedly slapped his wife on New Years Eve — and it appears unlikely that he will.
The alleged incident occurred at a nightclub in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. In the recently released video, it appears that White is speaking to his wife Anne White before grabbing her wrists. In turn she appears to hit him, and he slaps her back in response. People around them are then seen stepping in and trying to move them apart.
For legal action to be taken under Mexican law, the alleged victim must file a report and make a statement, Law&Crime’s Jesse Weber said on Law&Crime Sidebar podcast. There is currently no evidence of White’s wife reporting him or filing a police report. In fact, she put out a statement that appears to contradict that idea.
“Dana and I have been married for almost 30 years. To say this is out of character for him is an understatement. Nothing like this has ever happened before,” Anne White wrote in her statement. “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. I just hope people will respect our privacy for the sake of our kids.”
While there’s been an outpour of commentary within the UFC community, White has not been disciplined by the organization’s majority owner, Endeavour Group Holdings.
MMA champion Steven Williams told Sidebar that he thinks this is a “tricky road” and “a muddy, weird, very personal thing that has happened.” And if White were to land any repercussions at work, Williams said he thinks it can go two ways.
“I think he either goes away forever, which would be like the ultimate like, okay, he disrespected his wife. Disgusting. He has to go away,” Williams, who holds an undefeated record in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu at the Black Belt level, said. “But 60 days or six months or 30 days or 2 minutes, it’s like, what’s the point of that?”
“What happens then?” he continued. “Should he just step down?”
Williams, also known for his popular YouTube channel, Steven Strangles People, said that while he appreciates White for doing “incredible things for the sport,” he thinks UFC will be fine without him.
“He’s helped bring this to the level that it is,” Williams said. “It’s a machine now. It’s a multibillion dollar company. So do I think he needs to be there for it to be successful? Absolutely not. He doesn’t want to let go of his identity, his fame.”
Williams said there is currently no precedent for handling domestic disputes within UFC.
“I don’t think the UFC is that strict on situations where domestic violence is occurring,” Williams explained. “In the past, fighters that have had issues with domestic abuse or alleged domestic abuse have been able to flourish. A lot of times you just see it get brushed under the rug. It’s not something that really is demonized publicly in the sport.”
Have a tip we should know? [email protected]