UFC president Dana White admitted on Monday to slapping his wife on New Year’s Eve.
White acknowledged the incident while speaking with TMZ after video surfaced of White slapping a woman in the face. In the video obtained by TMZ, White is seen at a night club standing with a woman on a balcony. The woman is seen with her head in her hands before turning to slap White in the face. White then slaps the woman in the face before the situation appears to settle. The footage cuts off a few moments later.
White spoke with TMZ on Monday and confirmed that he was the man in the video and that the woman is his wife. The incident took place on Dec. 31 in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, according to White.
“I’m in Cabo, Mexico for the holidays with my family, and my wife and I were out with family on New Year’s Eve, and unfortunately that’s what happened. I’m one of the guys, you’ve heard me say for years. There’s never, ever an excuse for a guy to put his hands on a woman. And now here I am on TMZ talking about it.”
White acknowledged that alcohol was involved and told TMZ that “I don’t remember a lot.”
“There was definitely a lot of alcohol, but there’s no excuse,” White continued. “I’m literally making no excuses for this thing at all. It’s never happened before. It’s the first time that it’s ever happened, and people are going to say what they’re going to say. It is what it is. And whatever people do say, it’s deserved. I deserve it. It happened.
“I don’t know why it happened. My wife and I have apologized to each other. We’ve apologized to our kids.”
TMZ wrote that they also spoke with White’s wife Anne White, who provided a statement.
“Dana and I have been married for almost 30 years,” Anne said, per TMZ. “To say this is out of character for him is an understatement — nothing like this has ever happened before. 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.”
White has overseen the rise of MMA as a mainstream sport and has been president of the UFC since 2001.