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By: Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief
Controversy struck a member of Team Australia on the currently running "Ultimate Fighter: Nations" season this weekend, and it's now cost him a future with the UFC.
Tyler Manawaroa, who is currently on the airing season on Fox Sports 1 on Team Australia, posted a racist photo to Instagram some 18 months ago that went unseen by the UFC until this weekend, when one of his fellow competitors outed the picture, along with the associated hashtags Manawaroa added which were even worse.
Manawaroa took to Facebook to apologize, removing the post and trying to pass it off as nothing more than an insensitive joke. His Facebook statement read:
"I posted a pic on instagram that has offended people..im very sorry !! As you can imagine that was never the intention. .as a dark skinned person myself who has delt with racism all my life ,I was making fun of the stereotype that all dark people go to jail..which is obviously not true....hence the irony...but I will remove it and I apologize for offending you."
That apology is too little too late for Manawaroa, who is currently still in the competition with episodes yet to air, as the UFC has released a statement saying they'll not be offering him a contract.
"The UFC organization had hired an investigation company in Australia to conduct thorough background investigations on potential contestants for The Ultimate Fighter Nations television series," read the statement. "Unfortunately, the background checks did not uncover all of the social media history by contestant Tyler Manawaroa. The UFC is committed to having an environment that is free from discrimination. Consequently, UFC has notified Manawaroa that regardless of how far he advances in the completed television series, the organization will not be offering him a contract to compete in the UFC."
Penick's Analysis: The picture he shared was bad enough on its own, but it was his asinine hashtags that really did him in, and his apology reads as the classic "I'm sorry YOU were offended." It's a response from someone who doesn't realize how awful they sounded in that spot, or actually feels that way and is just now trying to save his ass because he got called out on it. That's not happening, and his time with the UFC ends before it begins.
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Jamie Penick, editor-in-chief
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