Why Did Dana White Walkout of Howie Mandel’s Podcast? UFC Vet Proposes Bizarre Theory on Infamous Moment

Published 02/23/2024, 1:18 AM EST

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Dana White surprised people a few days ago when he suddenly decided to walk out of Howie Mandel‘s podcast in just 30 seconds. This led many people to believe that the incident could have been staged. However, MMA legend Chael Sonnen has a different take on this situation, as he claimed that it might not have been a ruse.

Howie Mandel had nothing but words of praise for Dana White when the latter made the appearance on the podcast. But the UFC CEO seemed off as he mentioned being fed up with making podcast appearances, which appeared strange given that he made yet another podcast appearance just days after the incident with Mandel. Chael Sonnen took this up for debate and claimed it was deliberate from White. Let’s see how he arrived at that conclusion.

Chael Sonnen explains why Dana White’s walkout was not staged


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Although most people in the MMA community claim Dana White’s podcast walkout was fake and staged as a publicity stunt, Chael Sonnen begs to differ. The 44-year-old veteran believed that the UFC CEO could have been irritated about something which led him to walk out. Sonnen said, “I have a very different conclusion. I think Dana White got up and walked out.”


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Meanwhile, Chael Sonnen had no idea about what Howie Mandel could have said or done to trigger White. The host of the show started with an introduction praising Dana White. As such, ‘The American Gangster’ doesn’t think that Mandel had to do anything with the walkout. “I don’t think he’s [White] mad at Howie. He didn’t pretend to be mad at Howie.”

Furthermore, Sonnen believed a staged scenario would need much more context. “Staging it would involve a number of steps… It doesn’t look right, I agree with that and it doesn’t seem as though there would be any kind of a spoof to getting up and walking out,” Chael Sonnen added. However, he did find one thing regarding the podcast setup that could have been a factor in Dana White’s walkout.

Sonnen spots one thing that may have triggered White’s walk-off

Podcasts have become big over the last few years. Movie stars, talk show hosts, athletes, and influencers, everybody seems to have their own podcast these days. However, Chael Sonnen claims that the setup of the show also matters, and Howie Mandel’s setup was not distinguishable from others. He further stated, “I can tell you this. The [podcast] set that they were on was subpar… When you have a professional that works in the space of entertainment, there are certain things from a production standpoint that should not exist on your neighbor’s podcast.”


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Chael Sonnen also pointed out that Dana White had to wear a headset. We have hardly seen him in other podcasts with a headset on. This, Sonnen claims, was something that the UFC CEO may not have been comfortable with. He may not have liked putting those headsets on. “Dana White has to take a headset off to say goodbye. He never should have been wearing a headset,” ‘The American Gangster’ added.


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With Dana White making yet another podcast appearance, it is hard to disagree with what Chael Sonnen had to say. Was the UFC CEO hiding the true reason when he addressed the walkout incident? We just might never know.


Written by:

Himanga Mahanta


One take at a time

Himanga Mahanta is a senior UFC writer at EssentiallySports. An all-rounder in his coverage of the sport, Himanga is a reliable voice with a knack for providing analytical coverage of breaking stories from the world of MMA. His 1700+ articles include perspective pieces on trending UFC stories, and both live and post-event coverage of weekly events.
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Edited by:

Yeswanth Praveen