UFC boss praises Chris Rock’s ‘chin’ after viral Will Smith Oscars slap (VIDEO)
UFC president Dana White has praised Hollywood star Chris Rock's chin after he was slapped live on stage during a viral confrontation with Will Smith at Sunday's Academy Awards.
Smith, who has previously portrayed boxing icon Muhammad Ali in a movie about his life, approached Oscars host Rock moments after he delivered a gag about Smith's wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, and unleashed a vicious right-handed slap to Rock, who was hosting the event.
An irate Smith returned to his seat moments later and bellowed at Rock to “keep my wife's name out of your f**king mouth”.
It was as shocking a moment as has happened on stage at the Oscars in recent memory, but one person who liked what he saw was Dana White, who took to social media immediately afterwards to say how much he enjoyed the confrontation – as well as Chris Rock's ability to take a slap to the chin.
“FINALLY!!!!! there's an Oscars show worth watching,” White tweeted to his 5.8 million followers. “AND [Chris Rock] has a chin.”
Smith later offered an apology of sorts after collecting the Academy Award for best actor for playing another prominent figure in the sport's world Richard Williams – father of Venus and Serena – in the film 'King Richard'.
“I'm being called on in my life to love people and to protect people and to be a river to my people. I know, to do what we do, you've got to be able to take abuse,” Smith said.
Someone get me on the phone with Will Smiths boxing representative asap— Jake Paul (@jakepaul) March 28, 2022
“You got to be able to have people talk crazy about you. In this business, you've got to be able to have people disrespecting you, and you've got to smile, you've got to pretend like that's OK.
“I want to apologize to the Academy. I want to apologize to all my fellow nominees. This is a beautiful moment and I'm not crying for winning an award,” he added.
“Art imitates life. I look like the crazy father, just like they said about Richard Williams. But love will make you do crazy things.”
He concluded: “I hope the Academy invites me back. Thank you.”
Boxing bad boy Jake Paul, meanwhile, clearly saw an opportunity to to capitalize on the viral confrontation.
“Someone get me on the phone with Will Smith's boxing representative asap,” boxing's 'Problem Child' tweeted.