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Dana White comments on WIll Chope's release

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Esther Lin

LOS ANGELES -- At a recent media event, UFC president Dana White spoke at length for the first time about the Will Chope situation.

Chope was scheduled to fight Diego Brandao at last month's UFC Fight Night card in Brazil, was pulled from the card at the last minute after revelations surfaced about his past.

The featherweight fighter was discharged from the Air Force and sentenced to five months confinement in 2009 for repeatedly verbally and physically assaulting his ex-wife.

White said that while Chope seems to have his life back together now, the stigma of domestic abuse made the decision to cut Chope from the UFC a necessary one.

"It seems like a great guy and he's got his stuff together, but a few years ago he didn't sound like such a great guy," White said. "You put your hands on your girlfriend or your wife and you're accused of it. You beat her three times or whatever you did, that's a tough one to overcome."

With a roster of nearly 500 fighters in a business such as this, inevitably fighters with histories like Chope's are going to pop up. White says they'll be judged on a case-by-case basis.

"We're going to have situations where guys have some incidents," White said. "It depends on how big your incident is. they're not all going to be the same ... it's a case by case basis and it depends on how bad it is. His was pretty bad."

The UFC boss says that while he personally believes in second chances, the company needs to be mindful of their corporate partners' sensibilities.

"Believe me, if there is anyone on this planet into giving second chances and we all make mistakes, we're all human beings ... we will guys second chances, but first of all, we've got sponsorship partners, we have television partners, and the list goes on and on. As tolerant as I may be, some of our partners may not."