Matt Mitrione may have won his most recent heavyweight bout in the UFC without an injury, but he won’t be fighting again in a hurry.
Bloody Elbow reports that the former NFL player and Ultimate Fighter alumnus has been suspended by the UFC for a “significant” breach in the promotion’s “code of conduct” on Monday, where he insulted transgender fighter Fallon Fox during an interview with Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour.
As such, the UFC issued the following statement to MMAWeekly.com content partner Bleacher Report regarding Mitrione, who called Fox a “disgusting freak” for fighting in the women’s division:
The UFC was appalled by the transphobic comments made by heavyweight Matt Mitrione today in an interview on [The MMA Hour].
The organization finds Mr Mitrione’s comments offensive and wholly unacceptable and – as a direct result of this significant breach of the UFC’s code of conduct – Mr Mitrione’s UFC contract has been suspended and the incident is being investigated.
The UFC is a friend and ally of the LGBT community, and expects and requires all 450 of its athletes to treat others with dignity and respect.
While several UFC personalities (including color commentator Joe Rogan) do not believe that Fox—a 37-year-old, male-to-female transgendered athlete—should be competing with women, Mitrione is the first UFC fighter to verbally attack Fallon with insults on a widely broadcast show like The MMA Hour.
Aside from insinuating that Fox had “mental problems” for fighting in the women’s MMA division, Mitrione also joked that Fox’s fights were akin to infamous rapper Chris Brown beating up his current girlfriend, Barbadian pop star Rihanna:
He’s chromosomally a man. He had a gender change, not a sex change. He’s still a man. He was a man for 31 years. Thirty-one years. That’s a couple years younger than I am. He’s a man. Six years of taking performance de-hancing drugs, you think is going to change all that? That’s ridiculous.
That is a lying, sick, sociopathic, disgusting freak. And I mean that. Because you lied on your license to beat up women. That’s disgusting. You should be embarrassed yourself. And the fact that Florida licensed him because California licensed him or whoever the hell did it, it’s an embarrassment to us as fighters, as a sport, and we all should protest that. The woman that’s fighting him, props to you. I hope you beat his ass, and I hope he gets blackballed and never fights again, because that’s disgusting and I’m appalled by that.
Hence, Mitrione will be suspended for an as-of-yet undetermined amount of time.
It’s also unknown if Mitrione will be punished further for his remarks, but according to UFC COO Lawrence Epstein, any “discriminatory comment” about members of a certain community can make the responsible fighter “required” to do public service for that community.
Check out more UFC coverage from official MMAWeekly.com content partner Bleacher Report and McKinley Noble.