Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) heavyweight Matt Mitrione found himself on the sidelines yesterday (April 8, 2013) after he unloaded a verbal assault aimed at transgender mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter Fallon Fox.
"Meathead" blasted Fox during his appearance on "The MMA Hour," labeling her a "sick, sociopathic disgusting freak" who should be "embarrassed" for wanting to beat up women. While Fox is now technically a woman, Mitrione says she is still "chromosomally" a man.
Those harsh words didn't sit too well with the ZUFFA brass, who quickly suspended Mitrione for what they felt were "offensive" and "unacceptable" comments.
Speaking at today's UFC on FOX 7 media conference call, company president Dana White touched on the "Meathead" fallout and says what bothers him the most is the fact that Mitrione shouldn't have been doing an interview in the first place.
"It's one of those thing, it's just a pain in the ass. You know what I mean? First of all, he didn't even need to be doing an interview. And I'm going to talk to these guys. The only time these guys need to be doing interviews is leading up to fights. It ended up being a nightmare for him. What was the point of that interview? There's no point in it. Now it's causing him a bunch of headaches and problems for no reason whatsoever. He just fought and he wouldn't fight again for another few months. And he is still over there enjoying himself in Sweden. What was the point of doing that interview? What was the upside to that interview? There was none. No upside."
The promotion didn't reveal how long Matt would be on the sidelines for, but the punishment serves as a warning for all contracted employees that they, along with Matt Hughes -- the new Vice President of Athletic Development and Government Relations -- fully expect all fighters to meet the "high standards" of their new Code of Conduct.
It could very well set another standard for the promotion as White revealed he was "going to talk" to his athletes about when to conduct interviews, saying they should only be doing them in the lead-up to their respective fights.
In fact, it seems the trend was already put in motion as Scott Jorgensen revealed on his appearance on "The MMA Hour" that UFC officials informed him to only take interviews from certain media outlets. And with Mitrione's latest outburst, it appears that the ZUFFA execs are going to start laying down yet a few more sets of rules for all of its roster to follow.