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Jeff Molina on backlash for wearing UFC’s Pride Month shorts: ‘I just thought people would be a little more open-minded’

Jeff Molina had an interesting fight week, from receiving backlash for his decision to wear the UFC’s Pride Month shorts to winning a somewhat controversial split decision on Saturday.

Molina picked up a split-call over Zhalgas Zhumagulov in a flyweight preliminary bout of UFC Vegas 56. “El Jefe” chose the option to customize his fight kit to help raise money for the LGBTQIA+ Center of Southern Nevada with 100 percent of the profits from sales of the UFC’s Pride Month t-shirt going to the non-profit organization.

The decision led to a large group of MMA fans attacking him on social media, which shocked and angered him.

“I picked the colors because I thought it looked cool, and then also it supports a good cause,” Molina told reporters following his victory. “I’ll support anything of a community that’s been oppressed and ostracized for some time for something they can’t help. I’ll get behind any of that. It wasn’t that long ago that there was school segregation, and that was like less than a person ago, something like Stonewall, that was like 50 years ago. That’s not even a whole person ago, man – this is recent s***.

“I just thought in 2022 people would be a little more open-minded and not pieces of s***, but I guess I was wrong. It’s just crazy to me. People were saying some crazy s*** and like, dude, what would you do if your kid’s gay? Mind your own business, it doesn’t concern you. Get f*****.”

Molina improved to 3-0 inside the octagon with the split nod from the judges that even left the Glory MMA standout stunned after the third judge scored it 30-27 for Molina. In fact, of the 13 media members who scored the bout on MMA Decisions, only one believed Molina won the bout.

In the end, Molina moves up the ladder while still learning how ruthless MMA fans can be despite doing what he — and many others — supported.

“Who the f*** cares, bro,” he said. “It’s not even about being an ally — I’m not saying I’m not — but it’s just like, just be a decent f****** person. Just be a decent human being. Judging someone, and then trying to justify it with religion, and saying all sorts of spiteful, hateful s*** is crazy to me. It’s mind-boggling.

“Who cares who someone wants to be with, their sexual preference, and then the irony of trying to justify it with religion of something that’s supposed to be so accepted, and I was honestly shocked [with the negative reaction].”

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