Dana White reacts to ‘very f—ng weird’ staph infection revelations at UFC 294

IMAGO | Jasmin Frank / USA TODAY Network | JasminxFrank / USA TODAY Network, IMAGO

UFC CEO Dana White had the opportunity to address the multiple illnesses of fighters who fought on the prelims of UFC 294 on Saturday. Three fighters dealt with health issues during fight week, two suffering from staph infections leading to weight misses.

The boss, of course, responded in trademark Dana White fashion. 

Two fighters revealed suffering from staph infections 

One of the fighters revealed to have suffered a staph infection is Mike Breeden, who went three-and-a-half pounds over the 156-pound limit in his bout against Anshul Jubli. He won via third-round KO but had to give up 30% of his purse because of the weight miss. 

According to Breeden, suffering from staph infection was the primary reason he missed weight.

“I got staph infection,” said Breeden during his post-fight press conference (video provided by MMA Junkie). “So I was on antibiotics. I had it when I left [for Abu Dhabi].”

The other staph-stricken competitor was Victoria Dudakova, who ended up 0.6 pounds over the limit in her strawweight bout with former Invicta champion Jinh Yu Frey. She won on the scorecards but received a 20% fine. 

Dudakova also offered a rather graphic description of what she was dealing with. 

“My butt is completely bloodied up right now. I have staph infection in places that it’s not necessarily okay to announce to the whole world,” she said through a translator during a post-fight scrum, revealing she passed out while cutting weight. 

Dana White reacts to staph revelations

When asked about the issue during his media scrum, Dana White had this to say in response. 

“If you look at how many fights we do… we basically do fights every single Saturday. And here’s one of the things: if you’re gonna lie and hide injuries like that, lie all the way home. Why are you gonna lie and do that and sit up here and say, ‘I had staph infection.’ 

“It’s a very f—ng weird thing to do, to be honest with you. Very weird.” 

It’s worth noting that Abu Dhabi does not have an athletic commission, and the UFC was pretty much regulating the event. 

How UFC 294 turned out

Despite the shake-ups and No Contest rulings throughout the event, Dana White was pleased by the outcome. He specifically gave props to the two co-headlining bouts and the fighters involved. 

“Everybody. The co-main, the main event. Everybody accepted fights. It’s a different mentality these days and it’s why we love the sport,” White told reporters.  

Khamzat Chimaev emerged as the winner of the co-main event. He defeated former welterweight champion Kamaru Usman via majority decision as the latter now deals with his third straight loss. Prior to this fight, White revealed that the winner would receive a championship opportunity against newly minted UFC middleweight champ, Sean Strickland. However, Chimaev revealed he may have broken his hand in the first round against Usman, so that potential fight may have to wait.

The main event ended in over three minutes as Islam Makhachev successfully defended his title and silenced some critics with a head-kick KO against featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski. Among some of the options for his next defense, the American Kickboxing Academy (AKA) product has Charles Oliveira and Justin Gaethje waiting in the wings.

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Milan Ordoñez

Milan Ordoñez has been covering combat sports since 2012 and has been part of the Bloody Elbow staff since 2016. He’s also competed in amateur mixed martial arts and submission grappling tournaments.

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