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UFC president Dana White opens up about Octagon safety, quick stoppages, and more

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As easily the most outspoken commissioner in all of sports, Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) president Dana White is never one to shy away from a tough topic.

On the doorstep on UFC on FOX 19 this Saturday (April 16), White sat down with the Tampa Bay Times to discuss a slew of safety precautions, referee issues, and more.

"If you look at the UFC, as long as we've been doing it for 16 years, there's never been a death or serious injury," said White when asked if the recent death of mixed martial arts fighter Joao Carvalho sparked any change in UFC safety protocol. "It's all about doing the proper medical work before they fight, having the proper medical team there during the fight and making sure they get the right care after the fight. And that's really what it's all about. As long as you're on top of that, it's a fairly safe sport for a contact sport."

Unfortunately, medical attention is only half the battle in ensuring the health of MMA fighters worldwide. In most cases, the discretion of the referees stopping the action is just as important.

"The refs are better and continue to get better," added White. "What I'd like to see is guys who actually really know what it's like to be in there and fight refereeing, not guys that don't. I think we've come a long way. You used to hear me (complaining) about refereeing all the time and I haven't in a long time."

Luckily for each and every one of the fighters currently under UFC rule, the promotion has consistently attempted to evolve referee effectiveness and overall MMA safety.

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