UFC fighter incredibly claims he is a victim of ‘cancel culture’ after facing huge backlash for branding a female competitor a ‘dirty f***ing Brazilian’ on live TV, while she fought his girlfriend
- UFC bantamweight Tony Kelley was cornering Andrea Lee at UFC Vegas 54
- He came in for plenty of criticism after racial comments to the fighter
- Kelley says he was reacting to an eye poke in the previous round with remarks
- He said: ‘That’s what they’re gonna do. They’re dirty f***ing Brazilians’
A UFC fighter has blamed ‘cancel culture’ for criticism of him saying: ‘That’s what they’re gonna do, they’re dirty f***ing Brazilians’, while cornering his girlfriend’s fight.
Tony Kelley, an athlete in the bantamweight division, was helping flyweight Andrea Lee in her clash with Brazil’s Viviane Araujo on Saturday night in Las Vegas.
After one round of their fight, the 35-year-old said of Araujo: ‘That’s what they’re gonna do. They’re dirty f***ing Brazilians. They’re going to f***ing cheat like that. We came to f**k her up.’
Tony Kelley (left) refused to apologise for the comments he said were ‘in the heat of battle’
Lee (left) was fighting Viviane Araujo when her cornerman made the offensive remarks
A number of fans and fellow fighters called him out for the offensive remark on social media.
UFC welterweight star Belal Muhammad went as far as calling Kelley ‘racist’, while Gilbert Burns, Cris Cyborg and Adrian Yanez joined the chorus of voices condemning him.
But Kelley was not apologetic. He took to Twitter and wrote: ‘Cancel Culture is real.
‘What I said was real and in the heat of battle, and in no way had any type of racist connotations meant… but if that’s the way you take it, [I don’t give a f**k].
Kelley and Lee are understood to be in a relationship and he corners his girlfriend’s fights
Kelley(right) is a UFC fighter himself but was cornering Lee at the weekend in Las Vegas
‘So many people quick to say racist.. that s***’s getting so old. My reference was to a dirty eye poke.’
Araujo went on to defeat Lee by unanimous decision but it was Kelley’s comments that overshadowed the bout on UFC Fight Night in Las Vegas.
Kelley has won two of his fights in the UFC and lost one, compiling a professional record of 8-2, though this incident is now what he is best known for.
His employers are unlikely to sanction Kelley for his words on the broadcast and president Dana White has frequently defended the freedom of speech for his fighters.
He previously said: ‘When you look at the UFC, we’re truly a global business. People from all over the world face things that other people would never understand.
Kelley said he ‘does not give a f***’ if some people take his comment to be racist
‘To have the ability to tell people, ‘You can’t express yourself,’ whether it’s anger, happiness, fear – it’s crazy. We would never do that. We’d never try to do that.’
UFC welterweight Colby Covington infamously made similar comments to Kelley after a fight with Demian Maia in Brazil back in 2017.
He screamed: ‘I should’ve knocked him (Maia) out. Brazil, you’re a dump, all you filthy animals suck!’
His actions went unpunished and became a jumping off point for a persona he cultivated to portray himself in a controversial light.