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UFC suspends Matt Mitrione for comments on transgender fighter

(Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Getty Images) Heavyweight Matt Mitrione called transgender fighter Fallon Fox "a disgusting freak" during an interview on Monday. (Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Getty Images)

Hours after heavyweight Matt Mitrione called transgender fighter Fallon Fox "a disgusting freak," among other insults, UFC suspended Mitrione indefinitely and denounced his comments.

During Ariel Helwani's podcast "The MMA Hour," Mitrione repeatedly referred to Fox -- a postoperative transgender female who revealed in March that she was born a man -- as a "he."

Fallon underwent gender reassignment surgery in 2006 and has won each of her first two career MMA fights as a featherweight, with another scheduled for May. Mitrione scored a knockout on Saturday to snap a two-match losing streak and improve to 6-2 overall.

From Yahoo! Sports' Kevin Iole:

"Because she's not a he. He's a he," he said. "He's chromosomally a man. He had a gender change, not a sex change. He's still a man. He was a man for 31 years. Thirty-one years. That's a couple years younger than I am. He's a man. Six years of taking performance de-hancing drugs, you think is going to change all that? That's ridiculous.

"That is a lying, sick, sociopathic, disgusting freak," he continued. "And I mean that. Because you lied on your license to beat up women. That's disgusting. You should be embarrassed yourself. And the fact that Florida licensed him because California licensed him or whoever the hell did it, it's an embarrassment to us as fighters, as a sport, and we all should protest that. The woman that's fighting him, props to you. I hope you beat his ass, and I hope he gets blackballed and never fights again, because that's disgusting and I'm appalled by that."

UFC announced Mitrione's suspension and released a statement shortly thereafter.

"The UFC was appalled by the transphobic comments made by heavyweight Matt Mitrione today in an interview on 'The MMA Hour.' The organization finds Mr. Mitrione’s comments offensive and wholly unacceptable and - as a direct result of this significant breach of the UFC’s code of conduct – Mr. Mitrione’s UFC contract has been suspended and the incident is being investigated. The UFC is a friend and ally of the LGBT community, and expects and requires all 450 of its athletes to treat others with dignity and respect."
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