The UFC has cut former bantamweight champion Miguel Angel Torres over a tweet.
On Wednesday, Torres tweeted “If a windowless van was called a surprise van, more people wouldn't mind going for rides in them. Everyone likes surprises.”
The initial Torres' tweet said rape van instead of windowless van.
Torres told freelance reporter Matt Erickson that he was quoting from the TV show “It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia” and was watching it at the time.
White confirmed Torres' release for the “rape van” tweet in a text to The Canadian Press.
“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,” White told si.com, which first reported Torres' release. “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.”
Torres' tweet was removed but he did subsequently say on Twitter that “Jokes on racism, pedifiles, terrorism, & other (expletive) things is ok, but some are off limits. What a sensitive world we live in.”
A call to Torres' gym Friday was not immediately returned.
Torres (40-4) was once the face of the WEC, dominating the 135-pound division. The 30-year-old from East Chicago, Ind., is 2-1 in the UFC since it absorbed the WEC.
Former light-heavyweight champion Rashad Evans also brought the UFC some unwanted attention this week for dragging the Penn State sexual abuse scandal into trash talk with opponent Phil (Mr. Wonderful) Davis — a Penn State graduate — at a Chicago news conference Wednesday.
White told reporters Thursday he had spoken to Evans about the comment.
Former heavyweight champion Forrest Griffin apologized for a recent tweet that “Rape is the new missionary.”
White said Griffin was not making light of rape but wrote the tweet after seeing one rape-related story after another one night on the TV news in Las Vegas. The UFC boss said Griffin subsequently went to a local rape crisis centre in a bid to make amends.
The UFC recently started offering bonuses for fighters for best use of Twitter and for most followers.