UFC fighter Tony Kelley has addressed his controversial remarks aimed at Brazil that were caught on the UFC Vegas 54 broadcast on Saturday.
Kelley was at the UFC Apex to corner his Synergy MMA teammate Andrea Lee for her featured preliminary bout against Viviane Araujo. Midway through the fight, Araujo caught Lee with an accidental eye poke that prompted an angry reaction from Kelley and the rest of Lee’s corner.
But Kelley took things up a notch in between rounds, as he used his time for a pep talk to attack Araujo and her native Brazil.
Kelley was slammed by his fellow UFC colleagues, including a response from Belal Muhammad. After feeling the backlash of his remarks, Kelley took the time to address his comments and deny any wrongdoing.
“Cancel Culture is real,” Kelley tweeted. “What I said was real and in the heat of battle, and in no way had any type of racist connotations meant…but if that’s the way you take it, idgaf. So many people quick to say racist..that shits getting so old. My reference was to a dirty eye poke.”
UFC President Dana White wasn’t in attendance for UFC Vegas 54 and the promotion hasn’t publically commented on Kelley’s remarks.
Kelley, a UFC bantamweight, is scheduled to battle Adrian Yanez at UFC Austin on June 18. He’s won back-to-back fights over Randy Costa and Ali AlQaisi.
What are your thoughts on Tony Kelley’s controversial remarks?