Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) has suspended fighter Matt Mitrione for a transphobic rant he unleashed on The MMA Hour against transgender fighter Fallon Fox.
Mitrione, who also used to play in the NFL and is known as "meathead", released a string of unprompted, dehumanizing, and severely transphobic remarks regarding Fallon. The fighter compared her to Buffalo Bill from Silence of the Lambs and even likened her fights to domestic abuse, by mentioning Chris Brown and Rihanna. At this point show host Ariel Helwani stopped Mitrione, asking the fighter why he hated Fallon so much and why he constantly referred to her with incorrect pronouns. Mitrione replied, "because she's not a he. He's a he".
The rant got worse; "(Fallon) 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."
The interview apparently happened in a bar "somewhere in Europe" as Mitrione was celebrating his recent victory over Philip De Fries.
UFC was quick to issue a statement of condemnation, stating:
"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 (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) community, and expects and requires all 450 of its athletes to treat others with dignity and respect."
Mitrione is also receiving almost no support from the UFC community, showing that the fans and journalists that cover the sport also find what he said appalling.
His comments begin around the 17:30 mark below:
Most recently, Fallon Fox has been cleared of any wrongdoing in obtaining a license in Florida. She is set to fight Allanna Jones, who personally agreed to fight Fallon, on May 24th with Championship Fighting Alliance.
A lot of attention has been placed on Fallon after she came out as a transgender woman. This has led to many people questioning whether or not she would have an unfair advantage in the ring. After a decade of hormone therapy, most doctors agree that Fox has the same muscle mass, bone density, and strength of most females.
But even if someone choses not to believe the experts who say Fallon doesn't hold any significant biological advantage over other women, there is no excuse for demonizing her the way Mitrione did. We thank UFC for their swift and decisive action in support of the dignity of trans people everywhere.