TUF Nations: UFC announces it will not sign Tyler Manawaroa following Instagram photo controversy

Scott Cunningham

Manawaroa is still a contestant on the combat sports reality show; however, he will not be eligible for a UFC contract regardless of how far he advances through the tournament.

Tyler Manawaroa was featured prominently during episode four of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF): "Nations," when he beat Nordine Taleb in what has amounted to the best fight of the season thus far (watch fight here).

But the undefeated middleweight has been in the headlines for all the wrong reasons after a controversial photo that has been sitting on his Instagram account for the better part of 18 months surfaced earlier this week, thanks to fellow TUF contestant Kajan Johnson (details here).

Johnson's tweet was quickly picked up by Team Canada head coach Patrick Cote, as well as former UFC middleweight David Loiseau, neither of whom were amused.

After deleting the photo and publicly apologizing, insisting the pic was a play on stereotypes, it looked as if maybe "Wild Thing" could still have a career in Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).

But in a statement given to Bleacher Report, ZUFFA has made it clear there will be no future collaborations with the promising 19-year-old prospect.

"The UFC organization had hired an investigation company in Australia to conduct thorough background investigations on potential contestants for The Ultimate Fighter Nations television series. Unfortunately, the background checks did not uncover all of the social media history by contestant Tyler Manawaroa. The UFC is committed to having an environment that is free from discrimination. Consequently, UFC has notified Manawaroa that regardless of how far he advances in the completed television series, the organization will not be offering him a contract to compete in the UFC."

Manawaroa's manager reiterated that his client meant no harm, but it seems as if UFC has deemed the insensitive meme as enough reason to part ways with the fighter.

For now.

The good news for Manawaroa is that he's still young and can likely work his way back into the good graces of the world's largest fight promotion if he keeps his nose clean and more importantly, keeps winning fights.

As far as opportunities are concerned, the door is never fully closed in this business.

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