Travis Browne was informally accused of domestic abuse late on Wednesday evening (July 8, 2015) by his wife, Jenna Renee Webb, who took to social media and posted several pictures on Instagram, where she had bruises on her arms, legs and face.
On Thursday afternoon (July 9, 2015) at the UFC 189/TUF 21 press conference, UFC vice president of public relations, Dave Sholler addressed the issue and gave a brief statement, which said UFC, "is aware of the social media allegations" and that Browne was to be removed from any activities during international fight week while the UFC conducts a private investigation.
Should Browne be found guilty of domestic violence he would be in violation of UFC's code of conduct policy on top of any possible legal charges.
According to Browne's manager, John Fosco, those allegations will be "disputed 1 million percent" and he is confident that Browne will be freed from any wrongdoing he's being accused of.
"Just going off what we've seen, apparently the allegation is that something happened in February," Fosco told MMAMania. "I had a conversation with Jenna and her father this morning and I wanted to get their perspective because If there is something I didn't know about, I want to know about it. What I did hear is she never filed a police report, she never went to the police. If there was abuse, I think everybody would encourage everybody to go to the police. If Travis Browne, 6'7," 250 pounds, is going to abuse you, you are probably going to have to go to the hospital, but apparently there were no hospital visits.
"At the end of the day and this is just me speaking, with the ease of social media and the ease of accessibility, men in the public eye are targets and if you are a large man like a UFC fighter is -- like Travis is -- this is a very easy way to try and take him down. But, Travis has two children, he fights for them and he is going to fight everything for them. This is just something that is another speed bump in his life that's had a lot of them."
Fosco noted that he and UFC have had an open dialogue since the allegations and the decision to remove "Hapa" from international fight week was a mutual one.
"UFC has been communicating with me and they've made it very clear that they take domestic abuse very seriously, as they should," Fosco said. "From our end we are ready and almost excited to comply with the independent investigation that they have.
"Travis was not dismissed or anything from fight week. There was a conversation that was had and with fans being here in Vegas and with all this stuff being unclear and what is the take, we are all in agreement that Travis should go home. And because domestic violence -- Travis feels is such a serious issue and so do I - -it's like, okay, this has to be handled the right way. Travis doesn't want to take any attention from this week. This is a great week for UFC. Travis doesn't want to take any attention from that."
Fosco said he has "full confidence in UFC [with the investigation] and full confidence that Travis will be exonerated," and shared a conversation he had with Browne's ex-wife, Erin Browne, the mother of his two children, Kaleo and Keawe, who reached out on her ex-husband's behalf after hearing of the allegations.
"Out of nowhere, Travis' ex-wife reached out," said Fosco. "I spoke with her and her exact words were, 'I know the father of my two children. He's never laid a hand on me. That is not the kind of man he is.' And he didn't reach out to her and I didn't reach out to her. There is some context here. I would encourage people to think about on the eve of international fight week, if this is such a serious issue, why do you go on Instagram and do it like that? If this is serious, you have to go to the authorities and why are the authorities not involved?
"I would pose this question, too: A man of his size, do you think those marks in those photos are what Travis would do to you if he was going to beat you?" he continued. "And let's remember her job. She is a spokeswoman. She has been in the fitness world for a long time. She is a spokeswoman for a supplement company and she exercises very aggressively on a daily basis and I can't say for sure what the pictures were. I want to say one was maybe on her biceps. One was on her leg. There are a lot of cross-fit activities that are involved with those body parts. Listen, I know Travis and Travis didn't do it, but don't mistake that for not complying with UFC's investigation. We will fully comply. We will answer to everything."
It is a strong possibility that jealously may have been a factor behind these allegations from Webb, Fosco said. But, still the way in which her claims were made public and the fact that authorities were not notified, has left both him and Browne a bit bewildered.
"Travis left her, and it's mutually understood that a divorce is going to be filed. They are not together anymore. They don't live together any more," he said. "I think she may have found out about a week ago about someone Travis had seen or something and that could set off behavior like this. The first thing we thought when we saw this was why no discussion? Why this way? Why would you go this route? If you are really trying to solve a problem, Instagram is not where problems are solved.
"Listen, we don't have anything negative to say about her. It's confusing. It's frustrating, of course, and to be frank, I'm very impressed with Travis because he's been very non-reactionary, very calm and very methodical. This is not easy especially when you are a father of two children with no domestic violence history to deal with someone like this. Such a cheap shot."
As a co-founder of VFD marketing, Fosco has managed many athletes over the last decade, but Browne is one of the few he holds in very high regard, and he intends on sticking by his fighter's side and remains confident his name will be cleared.
"I've been working in the business for 10 years and I used to manage a lot more people and there are only two people I will work with now and that is Travis Browne and Clay Guida. Two of the best men I've ever known. Men, not fighters, men. We will get past this speed bump and move on."