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.

4 COMMENTS

  1. UFC treats fighters differently, Griffin and Rashad got away with comments like this; but Torres gets cut? Doesn’t seem fair to me, regardless of how stupid the comments are.

  2. Yeah, it just looks bad. You can’t help but feel that Forrest got off with it because he’s good friends with Dana, while Rashad was safe because he’s a big name fighter on the verge of main eventing a FOX show.

    I feel bad for Torres. He’s a good fighter and a unique character who hadn’t shown his best form in the UFC so far, but had the potential to be a star again like he was in the WEC.

    I’m still keeping my fingers crossed that cooler heads prevail and he’s brought back sometime in the next few months.

  3. I don’t get it. Forrest Griffin’s comment was about rape becoming more and more commonplace in the TV news. Just because he said it in a clever way that took people a few moments to digest before they understood it — the author of this article still hasn’t gotten it — doesn’t make it a rape joke. It’s not even satire because the conclusion that rape is becoming more frequent isn’t particularly funny.

    It was an incisive soundbite, and people only got upset because they misinterpreted it and just assumed that because Forrest isn’t known for being serious it must be some sort of punchline.

    Honestly, I can’t believe this required analysis.

    “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.”

    Neither do I, but that’s because I don’t believe in punishing anyone for any statement that does not directly endanger another person. You should see the difference, however, because he was making jokes about rape and ironically making light of it. Forrest Griffin was not.

  4. Thanks for your comment Carl.

    First things first – I get exactly where Forrest was coming from. He was making a point, but he was doing it in the form of black humor too, and while that does not offend me personally in any way, you don’t have to be a genius to work out that it’s going to bother other people and therefore shouldn’t have been said.

    Incidentally, it’s not the first time Forrest has joked about the subject, albeit in his typical self-depricating way. Both of the following quotes came from his Twitter just a day after he won an award from the UFC for his creative posts on the service last month, and before the furore over his rape is missionary comment:

    “Forrest Griffin was acquitted of rape because the jury couldn’t see what he did the rapeing with.”

    “If Forrest Griffin raped you you’d apologize. If forest griffin were to rape you would have to console him afterword. 2 on rape just cus.”

    Having said that, you’re focusing a lot on the Griffin comment Carl, whereas I’m not even that concerned with it – that’s water under the bridge.

    The biggest problem here is that on the same day that Rashad Evans made what I consider to be the worst comment of the three referencing the Penn State case and got away from it with a slap on the wrist, Torres was harshly punished for something that definitely wasn’t any worse.

    Let me be clear though – I’m certainly not calling for Evans to also be sacked as well. If it was down to me I’d fine them both equally and leave it at that – making it clear that it won’t be tolerated and leaving no doubt that what is acceptable.

    I don’t think the UFC has to rule what people say with an iron fist, but at a time when the sport is gingerly stepping into the mainstream via FOX you have to do some form of policing to ensure we don’t become an easy target for the sports detractors.

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