UFC president Dana White gives an in-depth take on the altercation between Cris Cyborg and Angela Magana.
Much has been made of the interaction between Cris Cyborg and Angela Magana at the Athletes Retreat a couple of weeks ago. Magana had been taunting Cyborg on social media and Cyborg confronted her about it, eventually punching her in the face. Cyborg was cited for misdemeanor battery, and while Magana made a huge deal of it, she was out partying with the rest of the fighters that very night.
While some might think that abrasive UFC president Dana White would side with the person offering up the comeuppance, that doesn’t appear to be the case. Originally he made a statement saying that the UFC was taking it very seriously. But as a guest on the UFC Unfiltered podcast with Matt Serra and Jim Norton, he went much deeper on the subject and made it clear that what Cyborg did is the definition of assault, fighter or not (transcribed by MMA Fighting):
“This is the real world. Now, when you’re in that Octagon, almost anything goes. When you’re in a f–king fighter retreat, nothing goes.”
“You can’t put your hands on another human being outside of the Octagon. It’s assault, you will get arrested, in the fight world we all love to get caught up in the ‘hey, you know what, she had a big mouth and she needed a smack in the mouth’ thing, but it doesn’t work that way in real life.”
“Even that night with [Daley] and Josh Koscheck, the fight was over, the bell rang, and he went up and punched him in the face after the bell,” White said. “That’s assault.”
He then emphasized his point, saying what Cyborg should have done:
“If you’re Cyborg, you go up and let her know how you feel,” White said. “You say, ‘you said all this mean s—t about me, here’s what I feel about you.’ But what, you walk away, or you just stay away for the whole retreat. I’m not trying to be ‘Mr. I Take The High Road,’ because I never f–king take the high road. But, assault isn’t, you can’t go and assault somebody, you can’t do it.”
He then went on a bit of a rant about how social media works. White, of course, has had his share of battles with people on Twitter, and believes that some social media outlets should change their formats:
“Can you cyberbully fighters? Can you cyberbully a fighter?” White asked. “Hey, listen, if you have social media, you’re being cyberbullied. There’s nothing, there’s nowhere, nobody, I don’t care what kind of star you are, male, female whatever it is. It’s a place where freaks who can hide behind, most of them are on private, they can have that kind of stuff, private accounts, which I don’t think is right. Instagram should change that. If you’re private, you should only get messages from people that follow you. It’s ridiculous.”