The recent media storm surrounding the rash of inappropriate fighter comments came to a head on Friday, as UFC President Dana White abruptly cut bantamweight contender Miguel Torres from the promotion for a rape-related tweet. Following the announcement, White spoke to MMA Fighting's Ariel Helwani about the thought process behind his decision.
Video and quotes after the jump.
(Transcriptions via Bloody Elbow)
White on the decision to cut Torres:
"It wasn't that I thought this was offensive. I thought it was absolutely ridiculous and offensive. And yeah, I'm sure, offensive to many people. There's been cases here where things have happened where some people have been offended by things that the fighters have said. You know, we have the Forrest Griffin incident, we've got the Rashad Evans incident and now the Miguel Torres incident. Now, the way that I handle these things with guys is, you know, we're all gonna make mistakes. Everybody makes mistakes. And, you know, a lot of the way that the public looks at these things is when a guy makes a mistake, you put him up on this pedestal, he makes a mistake and you want to burn him down. They burn him down, they beat him down. And that's not the way that I operate. We don't come out at the UFC with these canned statements that are written by our lawyers, we handle everything on a case by case basis, with the idea that people are going to make mistakes. And it's how you handle yourself after you make that mistake."
The initial process after discovering the tweet:
"He (Michael Landsberg) reads me Miguel Torres' tweet, which is...let me try to quote it here. Basically 'Rape vans. If they were called surprise vans, more women would get into them, because everybody loves a surprise.' When he read that to me here this morning I was...I was blown away. It's one of the first times in an interview that I didn't know what to say and I was just blown away. So as soon as I was done with that interview, I got ready and had to head over to the press conference. So I've got people working on 'is that what was said?' et cetera. After the press conference I find out that is what was said, he did say that, and he was joking. It was just a joke. And that's not a funny joke to me. That's not a... it's just not something you tweet, you know? If that's your sense of humor, keep it at home around you and your buddies and keep it to yourself. It's not something that you put out on Twitter. And there's no explanation for it, there's no...I can't make any sense of it. And enough is enough. If this doesn't...at least, when you're getting ready to Twitter or you're getting ready to say something, think about what you're going to say, think about what you're going to tweet and use a little common sense."
If the release was the result of outside pressure:
"I'm not gonna be pressured by the fans, the media or anybody else to go in and attack my guys when they make a mistake. I'm not gonna come out with these canned, written statements from our lawyers. We're gonna handle this thing honestly and real. Just like everybody would in real life. And what Miguel Torres wrote is unacceptable. It's unacceptable."