UFC president Dana White has admitted to hitting his wife after a video of the incident surfaced earlier this week.
The video, shared by TMZ on Monday, shows White and his wife, Anne, having an argument inside a Mexican nightclub in Cabo San Lucas on New Year’s Eve.
White leans over to say something to Anne and she proceeds to slap him across the face. The video then shows White slapping her back before friends intervene and pull them apart.
In an interview with TMZ the following day, White admitted to striking his wife of 26 years, saying he was “embarrassed.”
“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,” White told the website.
He also said he’s shown his three kids the video in an effort to address the issue, and that “whatever people do say (about the video) is deserved. I deserve it.”
UFC spokesman Chris Costello refused to comment to The Associated Press, instead directing the outlet to White’s comments to TMZ.
Anne White also released a statement to TMZ in which she said the behaviour was “out of character” for her husband.
“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 apologized to each other. I just hope people will respect our privacy for the sake of our kids.”
White spoke out about domestic violence in 2014 after NFL player Ray Rice assaulted his fiancée, saying you “don’t bounce back from putting your hands on a woman,” according to The Guardian. “Been that way in the UFC since we started here.”
Shares of Endeavor, UFC’s controlling interest, fell nearly six per cent Tuesday after the video was released, reports CNBC.