At UFC 293 last night (Sat., Sep 9, 2023) inside Qudos Bank Arena in Sydney, Australia, there were two instances when athletes used homophobic slurs during their post-fight interviews with Daniel Cormier, which left a large portion of the mixed martial arts (MMA) fanbase disgusted.
UFC President, Dana White, was apparently not among the MMA masses.
“I was flying around a little bit tonight,” White said at UFC 293’s post-fight press conference (watch it here). “I think these guys get a little excited, and you know, you make bad mistakes. [Charlie] Radke did the same thing. You know me, we didn’t run over to him and say, ‘You better apologize.’ He did that on his own. When he got backstage, he was embarrassed and, you know, got caught up in the moment.... He felt like he was treated like sh-t.”
Radtke exploded on the microphone after his unimpressive win over “Blood Diamond” on UFC 293’s “Prelims” undercard. Then, a few fights later on the pay-per-view (PPV) portion of the card, top-ranked Flyweight contender, Manel Kape, doubled down on the slur after a heated callout of budding rival, Kai-Kara France.
White — who was under fire earlier this year when video emerged of him slapping his wife in Mexico (details here) — seemed unbothered about Kape as well. But, unlike Radtke, Kape did not immediately apologize for his remark. White acknowledged it was a mistake regardless.
“We make mistakes,” White explained. “I am not holier than thou, either. So, we’ve all been in positions where we’ve made mistakes. And like I always say, it’s how you recover from it and how you carry yourself after you make the mistake. [Radtke] came out and apologized on his own free will. We didn’t tell him to do anything. And the fact that he did that means he means it.
“You know, I don’t make anybody apologize for anything,” White continued. “You do what you want. You’re grown men and women. You know, you’re able to say whatever you want- he did it, he came back, he was embarrassed, and he apologized. I’m sure some people will accept his apology ... and some people won’t.”
“I am sorry for that — it was emotional,” Kape told MMA media. “During the interviews, we are all emotional, and we say things that we didn’t want to say, so for those who feel bad about that, I apologize.”
On top of that, foul-mouthed Sean Strickland is UFC’s Middleweight champion, defeating Israel Adesanya in the PPV main event (watch highlights). And White assured everyone that he won’t censor his new champion, either ... for better or worse.
“You know the answer to this question,” White explained. “Listen, we put this guy in the spot. And you know, there was no ‘Holy sh-t!’ we didn’t know this was gonna happen going into this. Who the hell knows what’s gonna happen whenever he gets in here. So, it is what it is. This is the fight business, boys and girls. He is one of the nuttiest in the sport.”
For complete UFC 293 results, coverage and highlights click HERE.