During his media appearance for UFC Vegas 67 on Wednesday, Dana White essentially admitted that there won’t be repercussions for his New Year’s eve altercation with his wife. The UFC president was caught on camera slapping his wife while they were on a family vacation in Cabo.
“What should the repercussions be? I take 30 days off? How does that hurt me?
“Me leaving hurts the company. Hurts my employees. Hurts the fighters. Doesn’t hurt me. I could’ve left in 2016. Do I need to reflect? No, I don’t need to reflect.
“And what is my punishment? Here’s my punishment: I gotta walk around for however long I live — is it 10.4 years or another 25 years — and this is how I’m labeled now.”
The seeming inaction from the company’s brass as well as the lack of coverage from the UFC media partners is already raising eyebrows. And for commentator Jimmy Smith, who’s been part of the sport before its years of mainstream popularity, MMA can easily be back to those dark ages with the lack of accountability for white.
"It would hurt him to not be in charge of the UFC. For any length of time, that would bother him. Would it bother him financially? No, but it would bother him."@jimmysmithmma discusses the one glaring issue from Dana White addressing the press today at #UFCVegas67 media day pic.twitter.com/X0bkaolTf3— MMA on SiriusXM (@MMAonSiriusXM) January 12, 2023
“I don’t like anything that makes us look like that sport of animals, and all the negativity, and all the criticism, and all the stereotypes that I dealt with 20 years ago, 25 years ago, getting into this sport. I don’t want to see us go back there, and it can happen,” Smith said on Sirius XM.
“It can happen when mainstream sponsors, and mainstream corporations, and mainstream outlets, whatever, go, ‘Eh, I don’t know if I want to be involved in this, because they have a domestic violence scandal every week for which they do nothing.’
“There’s no accountability. None for Jon Jones, none for Dana White.
“It can drag us back. And you’ve got to be a little bit older to remember those days, but they did happen. And they can come back again. So a lack of accountability for Dana White affects everybody in MMA. Because it says, our sport doesn’t deserve any better.
“Of course, there are no consequences. They’re a bunch of animals who fight in a cage.”
As for White’s comments about how his absence “hurts” everyone around him, Smith had this to say.
“It would hurt him to not be in charge of the UFC. For any length of time, that would bother him. Would it bother him financially? No. But it would bother him.”