The UFC president gets concerned when his ex-fighters go to bare-knuckle boxing.
On Monday, it was revealed that one-time BKFC competitor Justin Thornton had passed away due to injuries suffered in a knockout loss in August. Thornton fought Dillon Cleckler on August 20 at BKFC 20: Bedford vs. Barnett and ended up getting knocked out in 19 seconds. He was rushed to the hospital following the loss and was reportedly partially paralyzed from his injuries. Thornton would remain in the hospital until his death.
White isn’t a fan.
“Well, let me start here. Is anybody shocked? I mean, in bare-knuckle fighting. You know, I’m not a big fan. I get; I guess I would call it concerned when I see some of our people when they leave here and go there. It’s like, oh my god,” White told the media.
The UFC President would go on to say that he has never had a serious injury inside of the UFC.
“When you look at this, we’ve been putting on fights for 25 years; I’ve done over like 7,000 fights with no serious injuries in the UFC. We’ve had some broken bones-some bad broken bones, the shin bone being the worst because it blows our minds when that thing breaks. And cuts,” White said. “I mean, that’s what we have.”
The shin bone break he is talking about is the most recent horrible injury. In July, Conor McGregor broke his leg at UFC 264, and Chris Weidman broke his leg at UFC 261 in April. Before them, Anderson Silva famously broke his leg fighting Weidman.
White continued and said that the number one thing he cares about above everything else is fighter safety pre-and post-fight. He even said that in 20 years, his medical team had found ten athletes who had life-threatening medical problems before fighting.
White ended by saying that he and UFC were very sorry to hear that Thornton had passed away.