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 UFC has suspended the former NFL player and The Ultimate Fighter alumnus for a "significant" breach in the promotion's code of conduct on Monday, when 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 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.
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 against women.
However, 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.
According to an ESPN profile by MMA journalist Loretta Hunt, Fox began "gender reassignment, breast augmentation and hair transplant surgeries" during a 2006 stay in Thailand, where she was treated by the Bangkok National Hospital.
Because she is transgender, Fox is currently licensed to compete in women's MMA by the Florida State Boxing Commission.
Several groups in the MMA community believe that Fox has unfair physical advantages in combat due to her original gender, but like all UFC fighters, Mitrione is contractually obligated to observe the company's conduct guidelines.
Hence, "Meathead" 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 result in the responsible fighter being "required" to perform public service for that community.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!