Fresh off the brutal knockout of Phil De Fries at this weekend’s UFC on Fuel TV 9, Matt Mitrione joined MMAFighting.com’s Ariel Helwani on “The MMA Hour,” to discuss his victory. What followed, however, was anything but the usual post-fight chatter. Like many in the MMA community, the TUF veteran unleashed vitriolic comments on the one person in MMA who just can’t seem to catch a break, Fallon Fox.
Fox caught the attention of the world of mixed martial arts soon after her knockout victory over Ericka Newsome at CFA 10 in March. Upon being outted as a male-to-female transgendered fighter by Florida’s Athletic Commission, “The Queen of Swords” became the biggest hot button issue in MMA’s recent history. True to his moniker, “Meathead” couldn’t help but add fuel to the flames. (Note his insistence on referring to her as “he”.)
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.
While it’s easy to stand by Mitrione’s right to state his opinion, there were a myriad of ways to better broach the subject. For one, he could have done so without all the insensitive, transphobic drivel, as well as the inaccuracy. The Chicago native never lied about anything. Fox never disclosed that she was transgendered because nowhere in the appropriate paperwork was it asked. Nor should it be. Fox is a woman at this point and has been for seven years. There is no reason for her not to be licensed, especially with the disadvantages she holds due to years of estrogen treatment, which has left her testosterone levels lower than that of most female combatants.
The UFC ostensibly agrees that his comments were out of line, having suspended “Meathead.”
The promotion released the following statement:
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.
The fact of the matter is that whether you agree or disagree with the decision to let Fallon Fox continue fighting (which will not be argued here), Mitrione’s comments were out of line on an irresponsible level. The one issue towering above the rest, however, is that “Meathead” is not the first to make such heinous comments. UFC commentator Joe Rogan recently spoke out on his podcast:
“You can’t fight women. That’s f**** crazy. I don’t know why she thinks that she’s going to be able to do that. If you want to be a woman in the bedroom and you know you want to play house and all of that other s*** and you feel like you have, your body is really a woman’s body trapped inside a man’s frame and so you got a operation, that’s all good in the hood. But you can’t fight chicks. Get the f*** out of here. You’re out of your mind. You need to fight men, you know? Period. You need to fight men your size because you’re a man. You’re a man without a d***. … How about some crazy dude who wants to beat the f*** out of chicks, so he gets his d*** chopped off? I mean, that’s not outside the realm of possibility.”
The underlying issue is that while the UFC took this action against Mitrione, Rogan went unpunished. The promotion has long been criticized for their inconsistent treatment of different parties under contract. For once, it would be nice for there to see some balance, for a change, and have everyone taken to task for their loose lips.
Written by: Jesse Denis