UFC president Dana White scolded lightweight Michael Chandler for his celebratory backflip, saying “somebody’s going to get f*cking hurt.”
Following his KO win over Dan Hooker in the co-main event of UFC 257, newly-minted UFC lightweight contender Chandler did a backflip off the top of the Octagon fence, and it appeared he had hurt his ankles on the way down. Thankfully he’s fine, but it could have been potentially been really bad had he landed the wrong way, and it had White worried. Chandler is certainly not the first fighter to do a backflip to celebrate — Justin Gaethje also does it on the regular — but every time a fighter does a backflip, it leaves White wincing.
Speaking to reporters following UFC 257, White admitted that he is not a fan of fighters celebrating their victories with a backflip off the top of the Octagon.
“Do you guys hate the backflips as much as I hate the backflips? It’s just f*cking, it’s just — the kid gets his fight in the UFC and does a backflip and it looks like he’s going to blow out his f*cking ankles, his knees, and his spine. I just — I don’t get the backflip thing and I don’t like it. Somebody’s going to get f*cking hurt doing that,” White said.
Certain jurisdictions such as Nevada have explicitly banned backflips from the top of the cage, but it appears there is no such penalty for it in Abu Dhabi, or in many other places the UFC goes as we see backflip celebrations every so often. Following this latest one by Chandler, however, perhaps White will consider instituting a UFC-wide ban on backflips going forward. As exciting as it is to see a guy like Chandler show off his athleticism, it won’t be so much fun if he or any of the other ‘back flippers’ like Gaethje ended up getting hurt.