Roy Nelson apologized on Friday for his actions at the end of his Sept. 24 victory over Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva at UFC Fight Night 95 in Brazil.
After dropping Silva with a right uppercut late in the second round, Nelson reluctantly delivered a few more shots before referee “Big” John McCarthy stepped in to stop the action. Nelson was upset for what felt was a late stoppage. He kicked or pushed McCarthy in the buttocks out of frustration after the fight. He then flipped McCarthy off while hurling obscenities at the veteran referee.
Nelson then found himself in hot water with the Brazilian MMA Athletic Commission (CABMMA), which issued a nine-month suspension and roughly $23,000 fine for his actions at the end of his last fight.
In announcing the penalty, CABMMA added that Nelson could reduce his suspension to six months and his fine to roughly $13,000, if he were to make a formal apology, preferably within the presence of McCarthy, by Dec. 31, 2016.
It wasn’t at a formal press conference as CABMMA had hoped, but Nelson did apologize at Friday’s The Ultimate Fighter 24 Finale official early weigh-in at The Palms in Las Vegas.
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“First, I’d like to apologize to the fans who make our sport, the Brazilian commission, John McCarthy, the rest of the world, my team, and especially my family for my actions in my last fight. My actions were out of character,” Nelson said, reading from a prepared statement.
“I have nothing against anyone, including John McCarthy. I recognize what I did was a mistake and I was wrong. I can’t apologize enough to John McCarthy, the commission, and the MMA fans around the world. I can’t wait to get back in the Octagon to entertain the fans.”
If CABMMA accepts Nelson’s public apology, he could return as soon as March 29, 2017.