In the wake of footage surfacing of former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice assaulting his fiance, UFC president Dana White was asked for his opinion on how National Football League commissioner Roger Goodell has handled the situation.
"It's a tough one," White said Wednesday night on FOX Sports Live. "First of all the video is horrifying. Absolutely horrifying. You're talking about a guy who's been in the fight business since he was 19 years old. It is the most disturbing thing you will ever see. The thing that's just as bad as the punch is that he shows no remorse after he does it. You know, if you did something in anger and you go, 'Oh my god. What did I do?' There's none of that with this guy. I don't know all the ins and outs of what Roger Goodell did or knew or how it was handled but it's definitely bad. I can tell you this: I wouldn't want to be Roger Goodell."
"I think there's a lot worse things that go on in other people's households, also, It's just not caught on video. That's safe to say. I wish Ray Rice nothing but the best."
"What do you say to that? I mean, what do you even say to that? It's asinine," said White. "I don't even know what to say to that."
White was then asked to explain his decision to bring light heavyweight Thiago Silva back into the UFC fold. Following an altercation in February where Silva allegedly forced a revolver into his estranged wife's mouth and threatened to shoot others, he charged with two counts of aggravated assault with a weapon, aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and one count of resisting an officer without violence. A Florida judge dropped all charges against Silva after his ex-wife reportedly fled the country to return to Brazil.
"If you believe in the process, if you believe in the legal process, they came, [police] arrested him and he wasn't brought up on any charges," said White. "Plus, I know a lot more of the story and what went on. If you take his side of the story, her side of the story, the truth lies somewhere in the middle, but he went through the process and he wasn't charged with anything. The guy should have the ability to make a living.
"If some tape surfaced like in this one [with Rice], but the police have already investigated this entire thing and they let the guy go."
At the time of the incident, White was quoted as saying Silva would 'never fight in the UFC again.'
"Well, when I said that there was a SWAT team outside of his house and he had allegedly done these things," said White. "It wasn't looking good for him. It wasn't looking good for him at the time. He went through the process and he came away with no charges, so, you've got to bring the guy back."
White was also asked if, like the NFL, the UFC planned on strengthening its stance against domestic violence.
"We've been like that since day 1, anyway," said White. "Obviously, when you're dealing with human beings, there's going to be things where guys are going to test positive for all different types of drugs. Guys are going to do stupid things. Guys are going to say stupid things in social media. There's going to be all these things that happen. We have a record, a track record of getting rid of many people that have done bad things.
"We've been human beings in letting these guys, other guys make up for what they've done and come back. There's one thing that you never bounce back from and that's putting your hands on a woman. Been that way in the UFC since we started here. You don't bounce back from putting your hands on a woman."
Finally, White was asked is he believed Goodell should resign.
"I don't know," said White. "I have no idea. This is just so bad. The video is just so horrifying and so bad. I don't know. It's a tough one. If Roger Goodell saw that video, knew that that was what happened, knew that Ray Rice did that to his wife or his fiance or whatever it is, he should just get up and leave on his own."
Tuesday night at the UFC's red carpet event promoting the 20th season of The Ultimate Fighter, women's bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey was asked for her take on the Rice situation.
"I just saw that last night," said Rousey. "I saw it last night with the sound off. I was watching it and I was like, 'What the hell am I watching? Is this SportsCenter? I couldn't even believe my eyes and when I heard that they were still [together]. I mean, I'm just going to say that probably was not the wisest decision."
As an incredibly notable figure in a combat sport, Rousey was asked if she had a message to women.
"What would I say? It is a really really tough question. For women, I think you just need to respect yourself and see what you're worth and really know what you're worth. Unfortunately I think a lot of women undersell themselves and they don't know how much they really deserve. I know for a fact that that woman deserves more that what she believes."
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Luke Rockhold (@LukeRockhold) September 11, 2014
He's calling out everyone.
Joanne Calderwood (@DRkneevil) September 11, 2014
Felice Herrig (@feliceherrig) September 11, 2014
Carla Esparza (@CarlaEsparza1) September 11, 2014
Tecia Torres (@TeciaTorres) September 11, 2014
The thing i'm looking forward 2 most about #TUF20 is seeing how the ones i know w/weak twitter chins handle it— Shayna Baszler (@QoSBaszler) September 11, 2014
Will Brooks (@illwillbrooks86) September 10, 2014
#Haters here's your chance to say something. Because after Nov-15-14 you won't have anything to say but "oh I knew Tito would beat him".— Tito Ortiz (@titoortiz) September 10, 2014
Now I'm watching.
Randy Couture (@Randy_Couture) September 10, 2014
Announced yesterday (Sept. 10 2014)
FANPOST OF THE DAY
Today's Fanpost of the Day comes via UFC-Glove.
(I sent this to Joe Rogan's manager by snail mail. Hope he gets a chance to check it out on top of all the fan mail he gets.)
First and foremost:
Kudos. Kudos and bully for you, Joe Rogan.
I am a diehard MMA fan and have been for some time. As someone who wants to see the sport thrive and takes seriously the narratives that drive it, I cannot even begin to express how deeply proud you made me this morning. I was on MMAFighting.com and the daily report contained the byline "Joe Rogan attributes Jon Jones' lack of popularity to racism, believes Jones would be embraced if he were white."
At first, I was cautious. You can't ever be too careful with the MMA media but as I read on and then continued by listening to the PODcast, it seems that your words had not been decontextualized. I won't say that I was surprised but I have to admit, I didn't ever think it would be stated out loud that Jon Jones' perception has less to do with him and more to do with the attitudes that surround him.
Found something you'd like to see in the Morning Report? Just hit me up on Twitter @SaintMMA and we'll include it in tomorrow's column.