Dana White has always been a controversial figure. The UFC President is no stranger to issues about equal pay for the fighters, women not having a place in the MMA world, and his high-stakes gambling.
This time, however, Dana White is plagued with questions about a new scandal — there’s footage where Dana White slapped his wife, Anne White, during an altercation at a New Year’s Eve party in Mexico. The couple eventually apologized for their actions — they claim that such an incident never happened in the past and copious amounts of alcohol were consumed that evening.
However, this isn’t the first time the UFC and its fighters have been involved in domestic violence cases.
Dana White Slapped His Wife — Who Else?
Domestic violence has long been a topic in the MMA world. Former two-time light heavyweight champion Jon Jones was arrested in Las Vegas back in 2021 when he allegedly assaulted his fiancée.
Another disturbing domestic violence case involved former adult star Christy Mack and War Machine where the former reportedly suffered severe injuries such as a fractured rib, broken teeth, and a ruptured liver. As a result, War Machine was sentenced to life in prison. Other UFC fighters allegedly involved in domestic violence scandals were Chuck Liddell, Luis Pena, Travis Browne, and Ronda Rousey.
UFC and Misogyny
Many UFC fighters and fans don’t think women have a place in the MMA world. Long before Ronda Rousey’s stardom took the world by storm (inside and outside the octagon), Dana White was very firm in his stance that women would never fight in the UFC — he said this in a 2011 interview before he bought Strikeforce.
The former lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov is also very vocal about not liking the fact that women fight in MMA. When he was asked for advice regarding women who wish to get into fighting, he said, “For females, I have [a] very good advice, be [a] fighter inside your home.” The Dagestani added, “One more advice, all the time, finish your husband.”
Khabib also isn’t fond of the ring girls. The Russian said that the ring girls are “the most useless people in martial arts.” But The Eagle isn’t the only one to dislike having ring girls in the MMA-sphere — Ronda Rousey, too, is “unimpressed” by the ring girls’ jobs and that they shouldn’t make more money than the fighters.
The former bantamweight champion stated, (regarding Ariana Celeste) “I’m sorry, but she wouldn’t have a job if it wasn’t for the fighters. She wouldn’t. You think her walking in circles around the two guys or two girls out there fighting for their lives is worth more? Think she works harder than they do?”
What’s Important to Know
There seems to be a handful of highly publicized domestic violence cases that plague the UFC and its fighters — even the UFC President is now a part of it. With the video surfacing online that Dana White slapped his wife, this begs the question if the MMA world should address domestic violence and misogyny on a bigger scale — and ultimately, find a solution to it.
HBO’s Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel reported years ago that domestic violence arrests among MMA athletes far outweighs the national rate. While, at the time, the national rate was 360 arrests for every 100,00o men, the domestic violence arrest rate involving MMA fighters was at a whopping 750.
To be sure, domestic violence and sexism don’t exist in MMA alone — it’s widespread and it can happen to anyone. When Dana White slapped his wife, it just once again drew nationwide attention. It’s time to stop tolerating the abuse.
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