UFC President Dana White has never been shy about expressing his displeasure when he hasn’t agreed with a referee’s ruling or a judge’s decision, but he clearly crossed the line at Fight Night 48 in Macau. White took matters into his own hands after strongly disagreeing with one of the scorecards that was submitted by Howard Hughes and had the veteran judge removed after he had worked just two fights on the ten-bout card in China. In his post-fight media scrum, White admitted to having had a major meltdown.
After conducting an internal review of the incident, the UFC issued a statement that White had been in violation of their independent regulatory protocol. Macau doesn’t have an athletic commission that oversees the sport, so the UFC acted as its own regulatory body for the event. As part of that role they are responsible for judging assignments.
There’s no denying that White’s knee-jerk reaction had set a dangerous precedent, but it will definitely be a one-time only occurrence. The organization confirmed that not White nor any other UFC executive has the authority to take such action and vows that a similar breach of protocol won’t happen again.
White and the UFC have apologized to Hughes for calling his professional judgement into question. It was undoubtedly a major slap in the face to Hughes, who has worked over 25 previous events for the promotion. The UFC says it looks forward to working with him again at its events in the future.
It just goes to show that while White is certainly a powerful UFC figure, he’s even subject to a reprimand when it has been found that he has overstepped his boundaries. He clearly did so with his actions this past weekend.
Rick LaFitte is an MMA Writer for Rant Sports