It hasn’t been even a month since Dana White tried to convince us all that we were responsible for UFC banning all flags – and even going so far as to fine those who snatch a flag from the audience.
The reasoning behind this initial ban was shrouded in mystery, as Dana White had provided little explanation. During a press conference, he simply stated, “You guys know why.”
This ban extended even to backstage photoshoots, leading to disappointment among stars like UFC welterweight Li Jingliang, who had his Chinese flag removed from his hands by a UFC exec after a victory.
A pivotal moment occurred during the recent “Noche UFC” event when the exuberant display of Mexican pride and celebration caught the attention of Dana White. Witnessing both Mexican competitors and fans proudly waving their national flags seems to have prompted White’s reconsideration.
He said: “There’s a lot of things that go on in a company this big and you can’t micromanage everything and sometimes things are done for the intentions of the right reasons. Everybody in this room knows the way that I feel about a lot of things, basically, I don’t give a f*** is the answer to most things.”
White went on to express his candid perspective: “Everybody’s too soft, everybody’s too sensitive about everything. When the decision was made to do this, I was kind of like ‘meh, you know, what’s the big deal if they don’t have flags’, Mexican Independence Day flipped the switch for me and I was like ‘that’s enough, I’m done with the no flags.’ If any flags hurt your feelings, too f***in bad.”
Muhammad Mokaev is set to participate in the featured prelim bout against Tim Elliott at UFC 294. He hinted on social media that the flag ban would be reinstated for this event. This announcement has raised speculations, with the ongoing conflict between Israel and Palestine being a possible reason.
It’s also noteworthy that the official website of Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Arena, the host venue for UFC 294, indicates that flags and banners are generally not permitted for “most events.” This, too, may have influenced the decision to reintroduce the flag ban for this particular UFC spectacle.