‘Never put your hands on a woman’: UFC star Dustin Poirier reacts to video of Dana White slapping wife

The former interim lightweight champion is the most notable fighter to speak out about the incident

Alex Pattle
Combat Sports Correspondent
Monday 09 January 2023 13:55 GMT
UFC president Dana White issues apology after being filmed slapping wife

UFC star Dustin Poirier has insisted, “You should never put your hands on a woman”, after UFC president Dana White was filmed slapping his wife on New Year’s Eve.

A video showing White appearing to slap his wife twice, after she had slapped him, circulated last week as the 53-year-old apologised for the incident, which took place at a nightclub in Mexico on 31 December.

There has been no word on whether White will step down from his position or take time away from the UFC, and Poirier admitted that he has ‘no clue’ what will happen next.

“You should never put your hands on a woman,” the former interim lightweight champion told Bloody Elbow, becoming the most notable fighter to have spoken out on the matter.

“I don’t know the repercussions that come along with somebody of his stature, running these businesses, doing something like that. I have no clue. It’s not a good look for sure.

“I’m staying out of it, because I’d be talking out my a**. I don’t know what should happen.”

The UFC, its parent company Endeavor, and the mixed martial arts promotion’s chief broadcast partner ESPN have all declined to comment on the situation.

After TMZ shared footage of the incident, White told them: “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.

UFC president Dana White was filmed slapping his wife twice on New Year’s Eve

“My wife and I have been married for almost 30 years. We’ve known each other since we were 12 years old. We’ve obviously been through some s*** together. We’ve got three kids, and this is one of those situations that’s horrible. I’m embarrassed, but it’s also one of those situations that right now, we’re more concerned about our kids.”

White’s wife, Anne, added: “Dana and I have been married for almost 30 years. 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 apologised to each other. I just hope people will respect our privacy for the sake of our kids.”

Poirier, 33, claimed the interim UFC lightweight title in 2019 by outpointing then-featherweight champion Max Holloway, but the American failed to unify the belts later that year, as he was submitted by Khabib Nurmagomedov.

Poirier’s most notable wins both came against Conor McGregor in 2021. Poirier avenged a 2014 loss to the Irishman by becoming the first fighter to knock him out, in January 2021, before McGregor suffered a broken leg in their trilogy bout that July.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in