UFC President Dana White was interviewed last week on Canadian television program “Off the Record,” where he addressed a variety of topics.
Among them was his rebuttal to UFC heavyweight Brandon Schaub, who had taken to social media to evince his frustration with the promotion’s new sponsorship deal with Reebok.
But White also raised a few eyebrows with this strange exchange with host Michael Landsberg, regarding light heavyweight contender Anthony “Rumble” Johnson.
Johnson, who faces Daniel Cormier at UFC 187 for the UFC light heavyweight title, has had three different women raise allegations of domestic violence against him in the last six years. He entered a no-contest plea in 2009 case and, as reported in MMAWeekly, was sentenced to probation, community service, and counseling in 2010.
Here is a transcription of the interview:
Michael Landsberg: Do you think there’s any double standard at all? How do you look at Anthony Johnson, who obviously has a checkered past when it comes to domestic violence. Any hesitation about putting him in there; any questions? Do you wish there was someone besides him?
Dana White: That’s incorrect. He was dating a girl who made a lot of accusations about him, and we actually did a full investigation on this. Anthony Johnson was actually the one being terrorized in this relationship.
Michael Landsberg: What happened in 2010 though? Wasn’t he sentenced in 2010?
Dana White: Yeah, I don’t know exactly what happened to him then. When you say he had a checkered past, there’s been a lady he dated that was saying all kinds of horrible things about him that was absolutely not true; and it was actually proven in court.
There are more details on the other charges in this report from Bloody Elbow.
It’s difficult to believe White just “doesn’t know what happened” back in 2010 with Johnson — considering he led a “full investigation” on the fighter.
It also seems like an ‘about face’ from White’s earlier remarks on the matter, as in this interview from MMA Fighting regarding the Ray Rice incident last year:
“We’ve been like that since day one, 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.”
The full interview with Off the Record is here: