UFC CEO Dana White refuses to censor Sean Strickland: ‘Everybody can have their own opinion’

Dana White

Dana White has absolutely no interest in censoring any members of his roster, including Sean Strickland.

The former middleweight world champion rubbed a lot of fans and members of the media the wrong way ahead of his UFC 297 title defense against Dricus Du Plessis in Toronto. During a pre-fight media scrum, ‘Tarzan’ was asked about his past comments disparaging the LGBTQ community. Strickland, who has never been one to shy away from a confrontation, laid into the reporter who made the query, creating yet another viral moment that dominated much of the weekend’s headlines.

White, who is an outspoken advocate for free speech, accused the journalist of baiting Sean Strickland during a post-fight interview. He has since doubled down on his stance, adding that the UFC aims to provide a platform that allows anyone to express themselves any way they choose.

“We had a guy early on when the COVID thing started, Tyron Woodley. He came out in Black Lives Matter everything. I think he had Black Lives Matter socks on, covered head to toe in Black Lives Matter,” White said on The TRUTH Podcast with Vivek Ramaswamy, referencing a September 2020 situation with Woodley before his fight against Colby Covington. “At the press conference leading up to his fight, they would ask him a question and he would say, ‘Black Lives Matter.’ They’d ask him another one, (he’d answer) ‘Black Lives Matter.’ I didn’t say sh*t to him, knock yourself out.

“This is America. Everybody can have their own opinion. I’m not telling anybody what to do, what to say, what to think, how to feel. We’re human beings in America, do your thing, knock yourself out, I’ve got the platform. People get pissed off, people get offended, people get this and that. We just had it happen with Sean Strickland.

“We’re up in Canada. Sean Strickland said a lot of things. I don’t agree with 95 percent of what this guy says, but it’s his right to say it. And if you don’t like it, tune in on Saturday night, he’s gonna get punched in the face. If you don’t like him, you get to see him get punched in the face, so there you go. Don’t get too upset and don’t take it too serious” (h/t MMA Junkie).

Strickland came up short in his first title defense, surrendering the title to Du Plessis via a closely contested split decision. White has already ruled out an immediate rematch despite he himself believing that ‘Tarzan’ did enough to leave The Great White North with his title intact.

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