Last night, UFC president Dana White missed his first company event since Zuffa Entertainment purchased the promotion in 2001 after being diagnosed with Ménière’s disease. Just before the UFC on Fuel TV 3 card, White tweeted his laments for not being present.
“First fight I will miss in 11 years and it is killing me,” White said. “I have to have surgery in L.A. tomorrow or trust me I would be [there].”
In a story first broken by Yahoo! Sports’ Kevin Ioli last night, White discussed the details of his malady. According to Iole’s report, White was having issues related to the disease for months.
“I was on vacation in Fiji and it really started,” White told Yahoo! Sports. “Then, you remember that press conference [after UFC 141] where I was holding the podium? I was feeling terrible and things were spinning around.”
Ménière’s disease is an inner ear disorder linked to an excess of fluid buildup. People afflicted with the disease have been known to experience vertigo, tinnitus and hearing loss, with the last symptom becoming permanent if the disease is left untreated. White is scheduled for surgery on Thursday that should correct the issue. However, the surgery also comes with a small risk of hearing loss, which could negatively effect White’s press-handling duties in the worst case scenario.