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Matt Mitrione: UFC Should Come Down Hard or Not At All

Matt Mitrione was suspended today for comments made on the MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani. According to MMA Fighting, Mitrione asked about Fallon Fox, a transgendered fighter, and responded:

“Because she’s not a he. He’s a he,” he said. “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,” he continued. “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.”

There are a few things to unpack here. First, Mitrione chose his words very poorly. As a professional fighter bound to the UFC’s personal conduct policy, he has to know that the UFC is taking a closer look at what fighters do and say. Other professional athletes like football players and basketball players are bound to similar conduct policies.

On the other hand, he didn’t call Fallon Fox “sociopathic” because of her sex change. He called her “sociopathic” because he believes that she deliberately hid the fact that she was transgendered in order to beat up women. And honestly, I can’t disagree with that sentiment all that much. “Sociopathic” is harsh and I don’t think Fox is a “freak.” However, there is something very wrong with the fact that Fox did not reveal she had previously been a man to athletic commissions in the past. In a strange, backwards way, Mitrione was actually trying to defend women.

Furthermore, it is an opinion. Right or wrong, it’s what he thinks. Did he come off like an idiot? Yes. I don’t agree with his opinion and I think he used some hateful language. But he is allowed to think that way. He is allowed to believe she is a “sick, sociopathic, disgusting freak.” I am sick and tired of the politically-correct police trying to half-assedly thought-police their way into the lives of public figures. He worded his thoughts in a terribly unprofessional way and he deserves to be punished for that action, but not for the thought itself. Had he worded it better, he might not have been suspended, but the sentiment would be the same. He would still think that Fox is “sociopathic” and “disgusting.” He should still be suspended. However, he shouldn’t be forced to make an apology that we all know is untrue.

If the UFC is going to show that they are serious about their new conduct policy they better come down hard on Mitrione. Otherwise, they should lose the act and stop trying to pretend like they care about professionalism. Hell, Dana White is the president of the UFC and he has had his own issues with homophobic remarks in the past. Joe Rogan espoused a very similar position to Mitrione on his podcast, albeit in a much less brash way. If he isn’t suspended for a significant length of time, they shouldn’t even bother. It’s not like this will reflect poorly on the sport; in all likelihood, the mainstream media will never know this incident ever happened.

If he is given a suspension is 3-4 months, it really is not much more than a charade. He would have taken that amount of time between fights anyway so it wouldn’t be a suspension that would affect him in any meaningful way

The NFL also dealt with a similar situation prior to the Super Bowl when Chris Culliver of the San Francisco 49ers made derogatory comments against gays. That situation was even more serious because it occurred during media week of the Super Bowl, which is possibly the most heavily-covered sporting event in the world; and, Culliver plays in San Francisco, which has one of the highest populations of gays per capita of any city in the United States. He wasn’t suspended at all.

It is clear that Mitrione said some dumb things on the MMA Hour. He acted unprofessionally and should be punished harshly for acting like a buffoon. There shouldn’t be any middle ground in this case. The UFC should either come down hard on him or they should do what the NFL did: nothing.



  • miguel

    I think political correctness has gone nuts. what happened to freedom of speech

  • Keith

    WOW the level of hate and homophobia that has been spewed by MMA fans over this is AMAZING! And you wonder why Fallon Fox chose to not come out until now? Would any of you have even wanted her fight at all? To even be a MMA fighter? Be honest probably not. Over 500 hate-filled homophobic comments. On every MMA fan or sports site. It is truly remarkable to hear all you — all your hate. To hear your visions of beating her down. Bashing her with your bare hands. All these men who would love the chance to get her in the ring, crush her, kill her. You say it is because you don’t think she should be allowed to fight women. I think it because you know it takes a lot of courage to do what she did . To be out as herself as a MMA fighter. To be who she is especially surrounded by all of you. I also think many of you have beaten or bashed a woman, or a trans person, gay person, a Black or Latin person before. Anybody different than you. Braver than you. Let’s just be honest about it. When everything is said and done just like Matt Mitrione, it’s not really about whether Fallon Fox wins or loses .. it’s just about hate.

    • Adam Sanchez

      its not homophobia.if u wanna fight he should have stayed a man.why become a woman to fight?makes no sence..u politically correct people make me laugh..

    • robthom

      “WOW the level of hate and homophobia”

      I’m not embarrassed or ashamed to hate a bullshitter who constantly pushes their selfish agenda.

      And the main issue to be afraid of about homo’s is their horrifying agenda to indoctrinate other peoples children into their lifestyle of perversion.

      • Christopher Flores

        Homosexuality isn’t a lifestyle anymore than Heterosexuality is. It doesn’t impact your lifestyle at all. Sexual promiscuity is the same regardless of the gender you’re interacting with. I know a number of homosexuals and none of them have an agenda of making other peoples children gay. You, robthorn, are an idiot, a homophobe… and a bullshitter who is constantly pushing his own selfish agenda.

        And a hypocrite.

        What’s wrong with Fallon Fox is that she is still a man. Having your penis converted into a make-shift vagina and taking hormones to develop breasts doesn’t change the fact that Fallon Fox still has the bone structure of a man. Not to mention the body chemistry.

        Regardless of your feelings towards Fallon Fox, she DOES have an unfair advantage. I, personally, think the female fighters should be allowed to decide if they want to fight her or not. It would make Fox a spectacle and discredit her MMA skills, but that’s about as fair as it can be for her.
        Might help bring recognition to women’s MMA, though…

    • Crashman

      Has NOTHING to do with homophobic rants, its about a gender bias, so dont make this into “you hate gays or you hate tranny’s ” etc, its about genetics, the building frames of people, men were BUILT bigger, stronger, faster, their muscles were made to push harder, etc, ITS HOW we were made, and for this person to come in and not only LIE on their application about what gender they were PRIOR to “such and such” a date, makes her fight license null and void, not to mention an atrocity that he/she is allowed to compete against women who were born that way. I have NO problem if thats what you choose to do with your life, but thats like the beauty pageant’s, they didnt allow that transgender to compete, and why you ask, its because they were not BORN as such. This is all down to the fact of the huge advantage this person has, so get off the “its about being brave” its like that person using steroids while everyone else is vanilla, so grow up and stop trying to make this about anything than what it is, .. he/she tried to cheat to become a champion.

  • Damonmarcus

    He’s a MAN beating up women!!! Period!!

  • LeoLarios

    I admire Mitrione for having the courage to implement the second amendment…Wow! Never thought I’d hear the day someone got punished for actually exercising their rights. This thing truly is a “sick sociopath” the quality of Americans is greatly diminished for supporting this sick freak who’s on a 5 fight winning streak all ending in the first round.

  • Drewdown

    I strongly believe that because of how Mitrione worded his comment he should be made an example out of because that’s the only way to make him & everybodyelse chose what they may say very carefully.

    • Drewdown

      No matter what even though we do have the freedom of speech law in full effect,still that doesn’t give anyone the right to disrespect who ever we want, especially when you know exactly how the UfC policy is and if you chose make said remarks then eventually your going to have to deal with all of the consequences that come along with your actions,just be a man or women about it in the end.

  • Drewdown

    Morally it’s not good for a man to put his hands on any women,in other words I wonder how Fox truly feel deep down inside knowingly that every time he(she) steps inside that cage he(she) is fighting a 100% woman,so now i’m really starting to wonder how sick any man can be with all in his mind?

  • Crashman

    I agree with the author of the article, in the fact that Mitrione just spoke what he thought was his own opinion, he didnt slam anyone for choosing that lifestyle, but when that lifestyle entails you beating up people who were BORN a woman, that makes it very much a difference. I dont believe that Fox Fallon became a woman just so he could beat them up, I just think that was his/her choice in life and thought “hey this could be a big money maker”, in the fact that he/she is built like a brick truck, and has the power of a male in a female fighting community. I feel bad that Mitrione is going to have his contract put on hold, for saying what almost EVERYONE in the fight game is thinking, again I agree it could have been put a different way but he was called Meat head for a reason, its not like he’s taken sensitivity training.

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