Matt Mitrione is fresh off a drubbing of Phil De Fries at UFC on Fuel TV 9, stopping his foe early in the first round. "Meathead" was on The MMA Hour this afternoon to discuss his win and a variety of other topics when he brought up that he had been watching Silence of the Lambs and then compared transgender MMA fighter Fallon Fox to Buffalo Bill, the film's terrifyingly violent serial killer.
From there, the situation went downhill quickly, including a Rihanna/Chris Brown joke (because domestic abuse is the height of comedy), into this exchange (via MMA Fighting):
After telling another joke, host Ariel Helwani asked Mitrione, "Why do you hate Fallon Fox so much, and why do you keep calling she a 'he'?"
"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."
While it might be easier to simply present the quotes and walk away, I'm going to get on my soapbox for a minute on this.
I think it's reasonable to say that people on both sides of the "should she be allowed to fight" debate have been...unfair at times. Personally, I think it's unfair to expect 100% of people to be okay without further information and studies with a male-to-female transgender individual fighting women. I don't think that is particularly transphobic. Education of the public at large takes more than "take my word for it." This is why Steph Daniels' interviews with medical professionals for this site were so important to the early part of the discussion.
What does fall under the umbrella of transphobic behavior is what Mitrione did. The constant referring to Fox as "he" and "him," calling her a "sociopathic, disgusting freak" and making comparisons to serial killers and domestic abusers are transphobic behaviors.
This is not okay and the UFC should absolutely hold Mitrione responsible for his behavior. If the "code of conduct" doesn't apply in a situation like this, I'm not sure when it does.
Update: BloodyElbow has reached out to the UFC for comment and we will provide any update as it is provided.