Bantamweight star Miguel Torres has been cut from the UFC after posting a joke about rape on his Twitter account, UFC president Dana White has confirmed.
“If a rape van was called a surprise van more people wouldn’t mind going for rides in them. Everyone likes surprises,” Torres wrote, reciting an off-color joke. He later exchanged the word “rape” for “windowless.”
Earlier in the day he had also wrote, “Your mouth says no but my roofies say yes.”
Torres is well known for being an active Twitter user and often posts jokes and off-the-wall comments, but these posts generated a negative reaction from some of his 48,000+ followers.
A day later UFC president Dana White was asked for his comments on them during an interview with Canadian presenter Michael Landsberg.
“There’s no explanation for that,” White later told SI.Com. “There’s absolutely nothing I could say to make any sense of that. And the fact that he even thinks that’s funny or that’s a joke, it disturbs me. It bothers me. Again, you’re dealing with a guy that’s a smart guy, that owns his own business, that’s been one of the top fighters in the world forever. And I cut him today. He’s no longer with the UFC.”
This is not the first time White has been confronted with unsavory comments from fighters on his roster. Just a month ago Forrest Griffin wrote that “rape is the new missionary” after switching on his television one day to find several different reports about people being raped.
Griffin later apologized for his actions and was defended by White who said that the former champion had been misinterpreted and wasn’t trying to make light of the situation, but rather had poorly expressed his surprise at the number of news stories related to the subject.
Then at yesterday’s UFC On FOX 2 pre-fight press conference Rashad Evans also put his foot in it when he told his next opponent Phil Davis that he was put his hands on him “worse than that dude did them other kids at Penn State.””
In hindsight Evans got off lightly for that cringe-worthy remark, getting nothing more than a quiet word in his ear from White later that day.
“Rashad is sorry for what he said. He truly is. He said it in the heat of the moment. He definitely took the wrong choice of words. He knows it and I know he knows it.”
So it appears that Torres, who is a former WEC champion and was one of their biggest stars before moving to the UFC, has drawn the short straw here.
Personally I think all the remarks mentioned above were foolish given the high profile nature of these athletes, but I don’t see Torres as being any worse than the others.
In fact the sense I’ve been getting over the past 24 hours is that there’s far more heat surrounding Evans remarks than Torres, and I think this move is only going to accentuate that fact.
I do believe they should be punished, but being released seems overly harsh, and it sends out a mixed message to the other fighters on the roster as it appears the rules apply to some yet not others.
White may have come to this decision as a way to stop this unfortunate series of events from spiralling out of control, but I have a feeling that this move could actually turn into a PR disaster.