UFC President Dana White is all for free expression, arguably to an extreme degree.
Former UFC interim welterweight champion Colby Covington caught a lot of flack for his comments towards Black Lives Matter (BLM) and former UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley ahead of UFC Vegas 11. White says it’s Covington’s right to express those thoughts.
White says the UFC is all about freedom of speech and the UFC will never stop fighters from expressing themselves.
“One of the things we’ve never done here in the UFC is stop people from expressing how they feel about certain things inside or outside the Octagon,” White said after UFC Vegas 11 (via Milan Ordonez of Bloody Elbow). “Even if it’s me. If it’s about me. Who’s more about free speech than we are? We literally let our people do or say whatever it is they do. It’s normal. Everything that happened this week, I f—ng saw it coming a hundred miles away. I could write the entire script for you, what would’ve happened at that press conference. You guys know it too. Plus, you heard everything already. You heard all the talk. These guys wanted to fight, they hate each other, the whole deal.”
Covington didn’t just stop at Woodley, because he had some racists comments directed towards UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman after the event. The UFC President knows a lot of things are said between fighters in the “fight game,” which is why the promotion doesn’t censor the fighters.
“My point in saying that is we’ve never stopped anybody from expressing themselves and saying how they feel,” White said. “My philosophy is always this is a fight. People are gonna say mean sh-t to each other. It’s like, ‘they shouldn’t be allowed to say that.’ They’re gonna f—ng punch each other in the face tomorrow. This is the fight game. I don’t believe in all that.”
It would appear that at least verbally, there is no line that those employed by the UFC can cross.