UFC explains reinstatement of Mitrione
April 29, 2013
The UFC has provided an official statement on the reinstatement of Matt Mitrione. It came a day after the UFC announced his return to the Octagon in July.
The UFC issued a statement indicating that Mitrione received a “significant monetary penalty.” Still, the timing of the fight announcement and communication concerning the lifting of the suspension seemed out of order and lessened the credibility of the UFC Code of Conduct.
MMA Fighting explained the reasons for the initial suspension:
Letting these comments go without any company reaction would not only give more ammunition to the company’s political enemies, but also undo work they had done with organizations who they were friendly with. Only a few hours after the show aired, the UFC issued a statement.
Here’s a portion of the UFC statement on Mittrione after lifting the suspension via (MMA Fighting):
“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.”
Dana White also weighed in on the situation and explained the reason for the fine as opposed to suspending him. He also indicated that Mitrione apologized privately but did not make him make a do a public apology. However, Mitrione apologized and chose to issue a public statement (via Bloody Elbow).
As MMA Fighting points out, it appears that the swift suspension was just to investigate what happened rather than it being punitive. Once the UFC determined what happened, a fine was levied and the suspension was lifted. The question is whether it could have just put Mitrione on leave and investigate the matter and then announce the suspension. The reason being is that a suspension and then touting the UFC Code of Conduct weakens the implied bite of a suspension under a Code of Conduct violation. Yes, Mitrione was disciplined and it appears that he was genuinely sorry for his comments but the timing and handling appears as mangled as Jon Jones’ toe.
What was the gain in announcing Mitrione’s fight prior to the announcement of the reasons for reinstatement? It could have announced the fine, and then do the announcement. It does sound nit-picking but it would be a reflection to the fighters how the UFC will handle such situations.