UFC CEO Dana White recently addressed the controversial remarks made by Sean Strickland during media day interview before UFC 297.
White acknowledged Strickland’s outspoken nature, deeming his comments unnecessary. However, he emphasized the combatant’s right to express himself freely.
To put things in perspective, Strickland made fun of Mayra Bueno Silva and Raquel Pennington. The two women were his co-main event competitors in UFC 297. Strickland also sported a t-shirt bearing the phrase “A woman in every kitchen, a g*n in every hand” while delivering a homophobic rant.
Known for his unwavering stance on free speech, Dana White stood by Strickland’s right to express himself. This is despite the controversial nature of his comments.
Engaging in a conversation with Pat McAfee on ESPN, White shared his thoughts on Strickland’s statements. He condemned the derogatory remarks made towards Pennington and Silva.
White stated: “Obviously, the two girls that were in the co-main event, he said horrible things about them. There’s no need for that, they’ve never done anything to him. This is what he does. At the end of the day, he’s entitled to his own opinion, and he can say whatever he wants to say… He’s allowed to say what he wants.”
While supporting Strickland’s freedom of expression, White clarified that he does not align with the majority of Strickland’s views. The former middleweight champion is renowned for his raw personality and outspoken nature, traits that often lead to controversial moments.
After UFC 297, Strickland faced severe backlash for his insensitive comments, drawing criticism on various social media platforms. Addressing Strickland’s outspokenness on a podcast with Vivek Ramaswamy, White reiterated his commitment to free expression.
He said: “This is America. Everybody can have their own opinion. I’m not telling anybody what to do, what to say, how to feel, we’re human beings in America… Sean Strickland said a lot of things.”
White went on to say: “I don’t agree with 95% of what this guy says, but it’s his right to say it. And if you don’t like it, tune in on Saturday night, he’s gonna be getting punched in the face. If you don’t like him, you get to see him get punched in the face.”