UFC president Dana White on Tuesday offered an apology to UFC Fight Night Macao judge Howard Hughes, whom White had pulled from his Octagon-side duties on Saturday in China.
The UFC admitted earlier in the day that White had overstepped his bounds, breaching company protocol, by his actions in Macao, but he also admitted that even if it was within his authority to do so, he shouldn’t have pulled Hughes.
SEE ALSO: UFC Admits Dana White Breached Protocol
The UFC self regulates its events in international territories that do not have their own independent sanctioning bodies. Macao is on such territory. Even so, White was off base with pulling a judge, whether or not he was happy with that judge’s performance.
“After the second fight of the night (in Macao), UFC President Dana White requested that Howard Hughes, one of the event’s five assigned judges, be removed from working any further bouts,” read a UFC statement Tuesday morning.
“Pursuant to UFC’s protocol, neither White nor any other UFC executive possesses such authority. Nevertheless, protocol was breached and Hughes did not work further bouts on Saturday night.”
During a scrum with members of the media in Mexico City on Tuesday to kick-off UFC 180: Velasquez vs. Werdum ticket sales, White admitted that he had acted in the wrong, and adding that he needed to apologize to Hughes.
SEE ALSO: UFC 180 Press Conference Video Replay
“It’s no secret how fired up I get when there’s bad judging, but I have to apologize to the judge (Howard Hughes),” said White. “I did get some misinformation. He didn’t score the second fight 30-27 with the fighter from China.
“And yeah, I got a little crazy and I overstepped my bounds. It’s not the first time, and hopefully it’s the last time I’ll ever do that. I was wrong.”
The UFC has long worked hard, under the guidance of former Nevada Athletic Commission Executive Director Marc Ratner, to regulate its international events to the same standard or higher than that of the NAC. UFC officials outside of the company’s internal regulators are not allowed to meddle, as White did, in the regulation of its international events.
“The UFC remains committed to maintaining the strictest regulatory environment for competition,” the company’s statement continued, “and vows that no similar breach of protocol will happen again.”