UFC Suspends Matt Mitrione For Transphobic Comments

At the beginning of March, mixed martial arts fighter Fallon Fox came out as transgender. The 36-year-old had been participating as a female competitor in MMA competitions for six years, and was forced to address the fact that she was born male after a reporter discovered her secret. In mid-March, UFC host Joe Rogan slammed Fox, saying she’s “not really a woman.” And today, UFC fighter Matt Mitrione was quoted on the webcast “The MMA Hour” making derogatory comments about Fox.

“She’s not a he. He’s a he,” Mitrione 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.” But that’s not all! He called Fox “an embarassment” to the sport and said, “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.”

Mitrione also went on to call Fox a “lying, sick, sociopathic, disgusting freak.”

Thankfully, the UFC was appalled by Mitrione’s comments, and temporarily suspended him from fighting as punishment.  “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,” said officials in a statement. “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.”

Hopefully, this will send a clear message to other members of the MMA community. Fox is scheduled to fight next in Florida on April 20, but may not be able to; Florida is investigating the validity of her license, after her transgender status was revealed. [Advocate]