Dana White and his wife got physical with each other on New Year's Eve, stunning onlookers in a crowded Cabo San Lucas nightclub ... an incident Dana says was, regretfully, fueled by booze.
The UFC honcho and Anne White, who've been married for 26 years, were celebrating Saturday night with friends in El Squid Roe ... but things took a turn shortly after they all welcomed in 2023 at midnight.
The couple and their group were in a VIP area above the dance floor, and when Dana leaned over to say something to Anne ... she reacted by slapping him across the face. Dana immediately slapped her back in the face, before friends jumped in and pulled them apart -- and it all played out in plain view of patrons down below.
Eyewitnesses in the club tell TMZ Sports ... Dana and Anne both seemed heavily intoxicated prior to the violence, and the video seems to bear that out, because things went from zero to 100 in an instant -- seemingly for no reason. Further, we're told the conflict was all over in less than a minute.
We spoke to Dana about the incident, and he admits he and Anne had been drinking heavily -- but quickly adds that's no excuse for him getting physical. He told us, "You've heard me say for years, 'There's never ever an excuse for a guy to put his hands on a woman,' and now here I am on TMZ talking about it."
He says he's embarrassed by this "horrible" incident, and he and Anne have apologized to each other. He says they're "good," but their biggest concern now is for their 3 kids ... with whom they've already discussed the fight.
Meanwhile, Anne tells TMZ Sports ... "Dana and I have been married for almost 30 years. To say this is out of character for him is an understatement -- nothing like this has ever happened before. Unfortunately, we were both drinking too much on New Year’s Eve and things got out of control, on both sides. We’ve talked this through as a family and apologized to each other. I just hope people will respect our privacy for the sake of our kids."