Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) President Dana White made recent headlines when he relieved a judge of his duties during UFC Fight Night 48, which took place last Saturday (Aug. 23, 2014) at Cotai Arena in Macau, China.
White, in the midst of a self-described "meltdown," was irritated with the work of Howard Hughes, a UFC-appointed judge who was flown to the Far East on the promotion's dime to score the action at the Fight Pass event. So much so that after the first two fights, White told Hughes to grab himself some popcorn, a nice cold beer and watch the remaining bouts as a spectator.
That didn't sit too well with many in the combat sports community, seeing as how White -- a promoter -- has an obvious interest in the outcome of fights. During today's (Aug. 26, 2014) UFC 180 press conference scrum, the Las Vegas fight boss apologized for his actions
"I got a little crazy and I overstepped my bounds. I was wrong," said White (via Shaun Al Shatti).
UFC acts as its own governing body when staging an event in a far-flung nation that doesn't have an athletic commission. And it can hire any officials and/or judges it prefers to work such events. However, that doesn't give UFC the legitimate authority to just replace a judge in the middle of the event.
That's according to a statement (read it in full here) released by Zuffa that declared, "neither White nor any other UFC executive possesses such authority."
When it comes to controversial judging, perhaps no one has been more vocal about cleaning up that aspect of mixed martial arts (MMA) than White. But, it seems his first attempt to actually do something about it backfired on the passionate president, even if his actions were in the best interest of the fighters (like this one) and the sport itself.
In the wise words of Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch, White just needs to mind his business ... stay in his own lane. Easier said than done.
Even though Hughes was not allowed to judge any more fights last Saturday, UFC revealed that it will have no issues working with him in the future. And apparently, neither will White.