"Wild Thing," who caused an uproar among his fellow cast mates and coaches on Twitter, told his fans (via Facebook) that the photo -- littered with racial epithets -- was intended to poke fun at stereotypes, rather than offend the mixed martial arts (MMA) community.
"I posted a pic on Instagram that has offended people. I'm very sorry! As you can imagine that was never the intention. As a dark-skinned person myself who has dealt with racism all my life, I was making fun of the stereotype that all dark people go to jail, which is obviously not true, hence the irony. But I will remove it and I apologize for offending you."
The pic has since been removed.
In addition, Manawaroa's manager has contacted MMAmania.com to confirm the photo was in "poor taste," but to also vehemently deny that his client had malicious intent. In addition, the budding middleweight was just 17 years old at the time the photo was posted, so he's likely to get the benefit of the doubt.