Matt Mitrione issues apology, agrees to work with LGBT community

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

The UFC releases statement on Mitrione, saying he was fined a significant amount and will be required to make amends to those who felt insulted in his remarks on the April 8 MMA Hour.

Matt Mitrione issued an apology for his comments on transgender fighter Fallon Fox during the April 8 edition of The MMA Hour in a statement released Friday by the UFC.

"I want to apologize for my hurtful comments about Fallon Fox and a group within our society, which, in truth, I know nothing about," said Mitrione in a statement. "I now know 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."

Mitrione had called Fox, a transgender fighter who is has fought in the women's division on MMA shows, "a lying, sick, sociopathic, disgusting freak."

The UFC suspended Mitrione hours later, and announced an investigation into his statements. They quietly dropped the suspension after the completion of the investigation, and fined him an undisclosed amount. They also inked him to a fight on July 27, which brought the controversy back to the forefront with those who believed a suspension of two weeks between fights means nothing in a sport where you fight every few months.

UFC officials had stated after the fight was announced that the suspension was pending the completion of the investigation, and when it was completed, he was fined, and had agreed to make amends.

UFC Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Lawrence Epstein said Mitrione will be working with the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) community going forward.

"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," said Epstein in the UFC release. "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.

"I know there are people who look up to UFC athletes and I let them and myself down by setting a very poor example," Mitrione said. "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 embarrassed 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."

During this entire ordeal, UFC president Dana White has made it clear that it is not Mitrione's belief that Fox should not be allowed to fight against other women that is the issue, not did he even disagree with the position. But it was the language he used to describe Fox, which many took to imply a feeling toward the transgender community that was the issue.

"Mr. Mitrione has expressed genuine contrition for the harm he caused," Epstein said. "Matt is not a hateful person, and we are confident in his sincerity to make amends."

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