After Matt Mitrione's suspension for his inappropriate comments about transgender fighter Fallon Fox was lifted, many fans and media were confused why he was so quickly booked into another fight. Dana White told the media that Mitrione's suspension was only temporary but he had been fined an undisclosed amount.
Today, the UFC released the following statements from Mitrione himself and UFC executive VP Lawrence Epstein:
Executive Vice-President and COO Lawrence Epstein said: "Earlier this month, heavyweight competitor Matt Mitrione made offensive and hurtful remarks about an individual from the transgender community during an appearance on the MMA Hour broadcast.
"The UFC immediately suspended Mr Mitrione from all duties relating to his position as a UFC athlete, pending the results of an investigation.
"As communicated to Mr Mitrione in the form of a written reprimand, that investigation found he went beyond expressing an honestly held belief, and that his comments represented a significant breach of the UFC’s code of conduct.
"As a result, Mr Mitrione received a significant monetary penalty. Further, he will be required to make amends to the community he hurt by working with the LGBT community.
"Mr Mitrione has expressed genuine contrition for the harm he caused. Matt is not a hateful person, and we are confident in his sincerity to make amends."
Matt Mitrione said: "I want to apologize for my hurtful comments about Fallon Fox and a group within our society which, in truth, I know nothing about. I know now there’s an important line between expressing an opinion on a subject and being hurtful and insensitive. I crossed that line by expressing my views in an ugly, rude and inappropriate manner.
"I know there are people who look up to UFC athletes and I let them and myself down by setting a very poor example. I also want to apologize to Lorenzo Fertitta, Dana White and everyone associated with the UFC.
"Anyone can say "I'm sorry" to get themselves out of trouble. That’s not the kind of person I want to be. I am embarrasses I chose to express myself in such a fashion and am looking forward to living up to this apology through my future actions, words and conduct."