Dana White rips ‘insane call’ by referee at UFC Vegas 68

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Power Slap CEO Dana White spoke to reporters after this weekend’s UFC Vegas 68 event. During that media scrum, White discussed the majority draw between Choi Doo-ho and Kyle Nelson.

Choi versus Nelson was an entertaining bout, with both men landing heavy and often. It appeared as though Choi, who is known for his durability, was able to better withstand the punishment and fire back with greater volume and veracity. However, in the third Choi was judged to have landed an illegal headbutt, intentionally, on Nelson by referee Chris Tognoni and a video replay official. This lead to a one point deduction to Choi. Had the point not been taken away, Choi would have won the fight by unanimous decision.

White revealed he was bemused by the point deduction, going as far as to call it a robbery.

“I thought it was insane and it cost him the fight,” White said (ht MMA Fighting). “I paid him his win money. He won that fight, so I paid him.”

“It was a tough fight, but in my opinion, Choi won the fight, and sometimes the refereeing or judging isn’t perfect,” White carried on. “So sometimes I do what I can do, take it into my own hands. I felt like that kid got robbed on that ridiculous call.”

This isn’t the first time White has taken matters into his own hands.

Whether it be a decision over win money, bonuses, contracts, match-making or promotion, the UFC generally bends to the whim of its President. This has lead to a great deal of inconsistency in how fighters get treated as a result of their performances in the cage or even conduct outside of it.

Something else White seemed to take into his own hands was his own personal punishment for slapping his spouse across the face last month. Video of White hitting his wife was widely circulated and reported on after the incident occurred at a New Year’s Eve bash in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. However, White faced no disciplinary action from his bosses or stakeholders with the UFC or his burgeoning slap fighting farce promotion.

White told reporters that the only punishment he believes was appropriate was for him to live with the reputation of being someone who has slapped his wife.


About the author: Tim Bissell is a writer, editor and deputy site manager for Bloody Elbow. He has covered combat sports since 2015. Tim covers news and events and has also written longform and investigative pieces. (full bio)

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