So, less than a fortnight after engaging in a vitriolic internationally broadcast rant which was offensive to the entire LGBT community and anyone with a sense of reason, Matt Mitrione’s suspension has been lifted and he’s set to face Brendan Schaub at UFC on FOX 9 in July.
What sort of message is the UFC trying to send here? By issuing a conduct suspension SHORTER than most medical suspensions and handing Mitrione a fight turnaround (I.e. time between pay checks) which is the briefest of his career, the message I’m hearing is…
‘Right we need to do something to appease these liberal folks so Matt, just sit tight and shut up for a few days and we’ll get you fixed up with another fight once this blows over.’
Dana White says that Miteione has been fined, but won’t say how much. He also says he’s happy with Mitrione’s apology to him.
Right, so a vile bigot is says sorry to his boss for causing a fuss and all is forgiven?
That is so messed up. Mitrione should have apologised publicly to Fallon Fox and the whole LGBT community. A fine of punitive amount should have been made public and Mitrione should have been made to eat crow and been denied mainstream television exposure for a damn sight longer than a few weeks.
No, he says sorry to his boss and gets a fight on FOX booked within two weeks.
Of course, Fallon Fox has lost more than a little high ground with her escapades at Invicta and the UFC are doubtless aware of the groundswell of opinion amongst a section of the fan base which agrees with Mitrione and cries about free speech when he was suspended.
Yeah, you can say what you want – but when you are a public figure, with an international platform representing a sport with an ongoing public perception problem, there should repercussions of being a hateful bigot.
However it seems that as long as the man responsible for policing the code of fighter conduct (Matt Hughes) agrees with you, then you’re gonna get off pretty lightly.
This is a PR disaster for the UFC, and for MMA as a whole. I can say with certainty that if I appeared on local TV calling a transgender person who worked in the same industry as myself a “lying, sick, sociopathic, disgusting freak” then I would be fired so fast that I wouldn’t even hit the ground.
I’m not saying Mitrione should be fired – I wouldn’t wish that on anyone – but some form of fitting, rather than token punishment is necessary, if the UFC (and by extension, all of MMA) is to get away from the booze fuelled, redneck, blood sport image that persists in some mainstream eyes.
Aside from that, it would be very interesting to see if, for example an atheist fighter who criticised organised religion or a foreign fighter who criticised America or American fans was dealt with similar expeditious leniency.
I doubt it.