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UFC’s Donald Cerrone apologizes for anti-gay slur

Donald Cerrone (left) fights Patrick Cote in a welterweight bout last month. (Marc DesRosiers/USA Today)

UFC fighter Donald Cerrone apologized for using an anti-gay slur in analyzing a bout during a “UFC 200 Aftermath” question-and-answer session at the sport’s fan expo in Las Vegas.

The topic of “worst fight” at the event, which lost some of its luster with Ronda Rousey and Conor McGregor out and with Jon Jones a late scratch because of a failed drug test, came up and Cerrone didn’t hold back as the conversation turned to the fight between Daniel Cormier and Anderson Silva — a late substitute for Jones. Cormier won with a wrestling-centric game plan that Cerrone found objectionable.

“Your boy, DC. Terrible!” Cerrone said to CM Punk. Punk asked for specifics and Cerrone replied: “Terrible. How are you going to give up weight and then fight like a [anti-gay slur], man?”

According to MMA Junkie, a senior UFC official commented that the organization was “incredibly disappointed” by Cerrone’s comments, which came shortly after Amanda Nunes became the sport’s first openly gay champion by winning the bantamweight title from Miesha Tate in the UFC 200 main event. UFC also recently launched an LGBTQ initiative entitled “We Are All Fighters.”

Cerrone apologized in an Instagram post that has since been deleted, writing (via MMA Junkie): “Earlier today, I said something that was offensive & I’m truly sorry. I’ve got so many friends and fans in the LGBTQ community who I let down today. I can and will be better because I respect the community and equality matters! #WeAreAllFighters” (Part of the apology remains visible on Twitter.)

Cerrone used the same word in a 2010 interview with Tapout Radio in which he said he hoped his fight with Jamie Varner would result in the “first death in MMA.” At that time he issued a partial apology, for the death threat.

Cerrone (30-7 MMA, 17-4 UFC) is scheduled to fight Rick Story (19-8, 12-6) at UFC 202 on Aug. 20 in Las Vegas.