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UFC president Dana White defended fighters’ right to say “whatever they want” after middleweight fighter Sean Strickland went on a wild rant when asked about his remarks on the LGBT community in the days before his fight.

When asking about Strickland, the reporter started his question to White stating that the executive gives his fighters a “long leash.” White cut him off there.

“First of all, I don’t give anybody a leash. A leash? Free speech,” White said. “To control what people say and to tell people what to believe – I don’t tell any other f—ing human being what to say, what to think and there’s no leashes on any of them.


Dana White at a press conference

Dana White on stage during the UFC 297 press conference at The Elgin and Winter Garden Theatre Centre on Jan. 18, 2024, in Toronto, Ontario. (Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

“It’s ridiculous to say I give somebody a leash. Free speech, brother. People can say whatever they want and they can believe whatever they want.”

Strickland faced backlash for his remarks on Wednesday. The reporter brought up comments Strickland made about having a gay son. The reporter mentioned how he was an ally of the LGBT community and that Toronto has a large gay and lesbian community. 

Strickland asked the reporter if he was gay and if he had a son who was gay and whether he wanted a grandkid. The reporter said he was not gay, and it would not be a problem if he had a grandson or not.

“Well then you’re a weak f—ing man,” Strickland said. “You’re part of the f—ing problem. You elected Justin Trudeau. When he seized the bank accounts, like you’re just f—ing pathetic. The fact that you have no f—ing backbone and as he shut down your f—ing country and seized bank accounts, you ask me some stupid s— like that. Go f— yourself. Move the f— on man.”


Sean Strickland vs Dricus Du Plessis

Sean Strickland prepares to face Dricus Du Plessis in a UFC middleweight championship bout during the UFC 297 event at Scotiabank Arena on Jan. 20, 2024, in Toronto. (Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

The reporter moved on from Strickland’s rant and mentioned how the fighter was going to use his time to speak out about Bud Light and the trans community after the company partnered with trans activist Dylan Mulvaney for a marketing campaign, which yielded disastrous results.

UFC, however, reupped its partnership with Bud Light following the backlash. White explained in October that Anheuser-Busch and Bud Light were their original beer sponsors more than 15 years ago.

“Here’s the thing about Bud Light… Ten years ago, to be trans, was a mental f—ing illness,” Strickland said. “And now, all of a sudden, people like you f—ing weaseled your way into the world… you are an infection. You are the definition of weakness. Everything that is wrong with the world is because of f—ing you. And the best thing is, the world is not buying your f—ing bulls— you’re f—ing peddling. 


Dana White talks

Dana White talks to the press during UFC 297 on Jan. 18, 2024, in Toronto. (Mike Roach/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

“The world is not saying, you know what, you’re right, ‘Chicks have d—s.’ The world is not saying that. The world is saying, ‘No, there are two genders.’ I don’t want my kids being taught about who they could f— in school. I don’t want my kids being taught about their sexual preference. This guy is a f—ing enemy.”

On Saturday, Strickland lost his middleweight championship bout against Dricus Du Plessis.

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