UFC president Dana White's decision to remove a judge from his officiating duties at an event last weekend in Macau, China, was in breach of company protocol, the organization said in a statement.
And White agreed.
"I got a little crazy and I overstepped my bounds. I was wrong," he said during an appearance in Mexico on Tuesday.
White broke regulatory protocol when he relieved Howard Hughes, a veteran judge with UFC experience, after Hughes turned in two scorecards with which White apparently did not agree.
The UFC self-regulates many of its international events due to the absence of athletic commissions. This includes, among other things, the selection of officials and administering of fight-night drug testing. According to a UFC statement, White and all other UFC executives lack the authority to remove a judge in the middle of an event.
"In those instances where UFC holds events in locations without a regulatory body, the UFC's protocol dictates that the organization's internal regulators will handle all commission functions independently and without interference by company executives or employees," the statement read.
The UFC did not indicate White would face any disciplinary action for the breach in protocol.
Hughes scored the first two bouts of the UFC Fight Night event. He scored a bantamweight bout between Royson Wee and Yao Zhikiui for Wee, 29-28. Judge Paul Sutherland scored the bout the same, awarding Wee a split decision.
Hughes scored a women's bantamweight bout between Milana Dudieva and Elizabeth Phillips for Dudieva, 29-28. Again, a second judge, Anthony Dimitriou, had the fight the same, resulting in a split decision win for Dudieva.
"Both White and the UFC apologize to Mr. Hughes for calling his professional judgment into question," the statement said. "Hughes has judged more than 25 UFC fight cards and the UFC looks forward to him working on its events again in the future."