Tony Kelley was lambasted online for comments he made to his fighter during a recent event
UFC cornerman Tony Kelley says that he doesn't see any issue with comments he was heard saying to his fighter Andrea Lee during last weekend's event in Las Vegas in which he referred to opponent Viviane Araujo as a "dirty f**king Brazilian."
Kelley, who is also an active fighter on the UFC's bantamweight roster, drew scorn online after he was overheard on the broadcast telling his fighter in between rounds: "That's what they're gonna do. They're dirty f**king Brazilians. They're going to f**king cheat like that."
The comments were quickly countered by a host of fighters and fans on social media, with Brazilian fighters Cris Cyborg and Gilbert Burns both expressing criticism while welterweight contender Belal Muhammad labelled Kelley a 'racist'.
However, addressing the criticism in a social media post of his own, Kelley rejected the accusations and proclaimed himself to be the latest victim of the so-called 'cancel culture' and that he was referring to an alleged eye-poke as being dirty - though he fails to explain why he singled out Brazilians as a whole.
"Cancel Culture is real," Kelley wrote online. "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, [I don't give a f***]. So many people quick to say racist..that s***'s getting so old. My reference was to a dirty eye poke."
"Ok that corner work was terrible. Lee keeps dating racists," wrote Belal Muhammad online.
"Tony do you even fight bro?" added Gilbert Burns, while Adrian Yanez - who is due to fight Kelley next month was also critical of his upcoming opponent's comments.
"Not a good look," wrote the Mexican-American bantamweight.
Either way, Kelley's cornering didn't have the desired effect as Andrea Lee was defeated by Araujo via unanimous decision.