Following his knockout win over Antonio Silva at UFC Fight Night 95 back on Sept. 24, Nelson kicked McCarthy on the butt and gave him the bird in protest for not stopping the bout sooner. Last month, ‘Big Country’ was suspended for nine months and fined $24,000 for his behavior by the Brazilian Superior Justice Court of MMA.
However, the STJDMMA gave the 40-year-old heavyweight a chance to lessen his punishment to a six-month suspension and $13,700 fine if he formally apologized to McCarthy inside the Octagon or during some form of press conference. The STJDMMA also gave Nelson a deadline to make his statement, which was before Dec. 31.
On Friday, Nelson issued a statement on incident, apologizing for his actions.
“First I’d like to apologize to the fans who make our sport,” Nelson told a group of reporters in Las Vegas. “To the Brazilian commission, John McCarthy and the rest of the world, my team and especially my family for my actions in my last fight.
“My actions were out of character. I have nothing against anyone, including John McCarthy. I recognize what I did was a mistake and I was wrong. I can’t apologize enough to John McCarthy, to the commission, and to MMA fans around the world. I can’t wait to get back into the Octagon to entertain the fans.”
MMA Fighting reached out to the STJDMMA, and it said it will decide next week, according to MMA Fighting’s Guilherme Cruz, to see if Nelson’s statement met the requirements to lessen both his suspension and fine.