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Morning Report: Stephen A. Smith: Dana White should be punished, but can’t decide it himself

UFC 279 Press Conference Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

Dana White surprised the media with an appearance at UFC Vegas 67 media day this week to address the altercation with his wife from New Year’s Eve.

White was caught on video dancing with his wife Anne White in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico before being struck with a slap and retaliating with multiple of his own. The tune didn’t change for the UFC boss on media day, who continued to acknowledge his wrongdoings from his most recent vacation.

White noted how having to live with the consequences of his actions for the rest of his life will far outweigh any direct punishment that could be handed out to him as UFC president. As of right now, no real repercussions have been imposed aside from Power Slap League’s TBS launch date getting delayed one week from Jan. 11 to Jan. 18.

There have been many supporters within the community of White’s actions despite the fact he’s reiterated what he did was indefensible and that he shouldn’t be defended. ESPN — the platform that carries the UFC — has received heaps of criticism since the altercation, including longtime personality Stephen A. Smith who clarified his initial comments yesterday.

“What I didn’t like about what Dana White did was how he was speaking about, ‘Okay, what would you have happen? What do you want me to do?’ I don’t think that was the thing to say. That’s No. 1,” Smith said on First Take.

“No. 2, I want to get into this ... I’ve already stated for the record, No. 1, I spoke to Dana White, Dana White knows exactly where I stand. He was wrong. You do not put your hands on a woman. Period. Okay? I also said that Dana White deserves the same punishment he would hand down to one of his fighters. Somebody would get suspended for six months. Somebody would get suspended for a year. You see what I’m saying? Now, am I an advocate for cancel culture where you want him to lose his job? No, and I’m not apologizing for that.”

The UFC’s Code of Conduct policy specifically highlights punishments to be enacted for domestic violence-related incidents, but going on a case-by-case basis doesn’t appear to have been utilized for several years. It’s not too late for anything additional to come of the White family incident, it’s just a matter of how and who it may come from.

“Married 27 years to his wife, his wife spoke about this issue as well,” Smith said. “They’re working it out as a family, it’s a family matter, it’s a private matter but became public. The fact of the matter is, at the end of the day, Dana White was wrong. You do not do what he did to his wife, which he has openly admitted. Does he deserve to be punished? Yes, he does. Does he deserve to be the person who decides what his punishment is? No, he does not. Somebody else needs to be able to make that call, which is what I said. I never said he should be allowed to punish himself.

“His punishment should fit what he would exact against other people. I don’t even think Dana White disagrees with that because I haven’t spoken to him since.”


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Between the Links.

MMA Fighting’s Mike Heck chats with Eric Nicksick.

UFC Vegas 67 promo.

UFC Vegas 67 fighters’ top finishes.

Free fight.

Best December Fight Pass moments.

PFL Europe.

UFC 281 highlights.

Cooking with Volk.

Bisping talks UFC’s greatest trilogies.

Fancy 2023 fights.


Heck of a Morning. MMA Fighting’s Mike Heck discusses if UFC would massively suffer if Dana White stepped away.


Not against it.


Something like that...

I’m wicked Helen Jellers, bro.

Not bad.



Jordan Wright (12-4) vs. Zac Pauga (6-1); UFC Vegas 69, Feb. 18

Alex Caceres (20-13) vs. Nate Landwehr (16-4); UFC San Antonio, March 25

Gegard Mousasi (49-8-2) vs. Fabian Edwards (11-2); Bellator Paris, May 12

Sidney Outlaw (16-5) vs. Mansour Barnaoui (20-4); Bellator Paris, May 12

Saul Rogers (15-5) vs. Davy Gallon (21-8-2); Bellator Paris, May 12

Thibault Gouti (16-6) vs. Kane Mousah (14-4); Bellator Paris, May 12

A.J. McKee (20-1) vs. Patricky “Pitbull” Freire (24-11); Bellator TBD


Happy Friday, gang. We’re back to our regularly scheduled MMA programming this week. Enjoy it and party on. Thanks for reading!



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