Photo: Mark J. Rebilas USA TODAY Sports

UFC boss under fire after controversial comments: ‘It’s like hiding from cancer’

"One thing is guaranteed: we are all going to die of something"

If there’s one thing UFC president Dana White is known for it’s him truly speaking his mind, though it may have backfired as he made ill-advised comparisons between cancer and the corona virus.

The ongoing Covid-19 (Corona virus) outbreak continues to affect the sports world. The UFC was the last major sports league to go on hiatus, following the NBA and NFL. However it seems that the UFC will also be the first to return. UFC 249 is still scheduled to happen, though the arena, city and even country are not official yet. While many are doing their best to combat the corona virus, UFC president Dana White took a less diplomatic approach recently, comparing it to cancer.

“Whether you’re a coronavirus expert or not, it’s like hiding from cancer,” White said in an interview with Yahoo Sports. “You can’t hide from this thing. If you’re a high-risk person this thing is going to get you.”


White is rather incorrect in his comparison. Cancer involves abnormal cell growth in different parts off the body. While external factors can exacerbate the cell growth, it is by all accounts hardly a disease that strikes from out of nowhere. It is often hereditary, or caused by exposure to radioactivity or harmful chemicals. In direct contrast to what White is saying, one actually can hide from Covid-19. By staying indoors and away from people carrying the virus, an at-risk person could easily avoid death by coronavirus.

His sentiment continued, as he went on to further downplay the severity of the ongoing pandemic.

“If coronavirus is going to be what’s going to get me, so be it. It is what it is. Heart disease, car accidents, cancer. The list goes on and on of things that kill people every year. One thing is guaranteed: we are all going to die of something. I can’t be somebody who’s going to hide in my house for months. Hide in my house, for what? No way. To be honest with you, if this goes on for months, I’ve got a great house to be locked up in. My house was built for quarantine, we’re having a blast.”

While White’s “from the heart”-approach is often appreciated, these comments may be less so.

What do you think of how Dana White compared cancer to corona?

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With roots in muay thai and as an avid combat sports fan, Sebastian Vendel-Martinez grew up while the MMA scene was blossoming in Sweden. He became part of the MMAnytt team in 2012 and has gone on to become one of the most prominent MMA reporters in Scandinavia. Currently he continues to work as a writer, reporter, video producer/editor and head editor for