The Ultimate Fighting Championship has suspended heavyweight Matt Mitrione due to the fighter’s recent comments about transgender fighter Fallon Fox.
Mitrione, 34, made his remarks during a recent appearance on “The MMA Hour,” during which “Meathead” told several jokes targeting the transgender competitor. UFC officials released an official statement on the matter Monday evening:
“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.”
During his series of controversial jokes, Mitrione continually used masculine pronouns when referencing Fox. When asked to explain his choice of language, Mitrione responded readily:
“He is not a she. He is chromosomally a man. He had a gender change, not a sex change. He’s still a man. He was a man for 31 years. That is a couple of years younger than I am, and six years of taking performance de-hancing drugs 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 of 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. We all should protest that. The women who is fighting him, props to you. I hope you beat his ass, and I hope that he gets blackballed and never fights again, because that is disgusting, and I am appalled by that.”
Fox, 37, underwent gender reassignment surgery in 2006 and supplemented the procedure with years of hormone therapy. She began her pro career 11 months ago and made headlines last month after her transgender identity became public. The featherweight most recently competed for Florida’s Championship Fighting Alliance, advancing in the promotion’s 145-pound tournament with a first-round knockout of Ericka Newsome. Though the fighter’s license was initially placed under investigation in Florida, Fox’s ability to fight in the state has not been affected. She is slated to compete on May 24 against Allanna Jones in the tournament semifinals at CFA 11.
Mitrione introduced himself to mixed martial arts fans as a cast member of “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 10 and began his Octagon career with five straight wins before suffering back-to-back defeats at the hands of Cheick Kongo and Roy Nelson. “Meathead” most recently competed this past Saturday at UFC on Fuel TV 9, where he knocked out British grappler Philip De Fries with a brutal barrage of strikes in just 19 seconds.