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White on Benoit 'butt-kick': It's all good

3/15/2015



DALLAS -- The UFC will not punish flyweight Ryan Benoit for his post-fight actions on Saturday, according to company president Dana White.

Benoit (8-3) knocked out Sergio Pettis with a left hook in the second round of their bout at UFC 185 at American Airlines Center. Immediately after referee Kerry Hatley stopped the fight, Benoit kicked Pettis in the rear before walking away.

The 25-year-old flyweight, who made his second UFC appearance, immediately apologized for the disrespectful move. He later stated he was caught up in the moment -- Benoit was a heavy underdog in the bout and had survived a rough first round against Pettis.

"I want to apologize to Sergio, his camp and all of the fans," Benoit said. "My adrenaline got the best of me and nothing like that will ever happen again."

The widely used litmus test for late hits in the UFC is Paul Daley's actions against Josh Koscheck following a welterweight bout in 2010. After the fight, which Koscheck dominated, Daley went after Koscheck with a punch as Koscheck turned to walk away. The UFC immediately cut Daley.

At Saturday night's post-fight news conference, White said the Benoit situation was vastly different. He compared it to an incident in December, when Claudia Gadelha threw a punch after the bell at newly crowned strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk. Gadelha apologized and was not punished.

"That's one of those things where, I was on Twitter [and people were saying,] 'What about Paul Daley?'" White said. "Everybody wants to compare something like that to Paul Daley. [Benoit] was fired up, did it and immediately apologized. The same thing happened in Joanna's fight.

"When somebody apologizes and realizes what they did, it's all good."

Benoit could still fall subject to discipline by the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation.