Former WEC champion and Ultimate Fighting Championship vet Miguel Torres was fired by the organization Thursday after he tweeted a joke about what he called rape vans.
The tweet originally read, If a rape van was called a surprised van more people wouldn't mind going for rides in them. Everyone likes surprises. Miguel later changed the words rape van to windowless van.
Torres' actions incited the anger of UFC president Dana White, who has never been afraid to say what he really feels.
Now there's no explanation for that, White said. 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. 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 most recently appeared at UFC 139, beating Nick Pace in a ringside decision. He issued an apology Friday on his website.
I am very sorry for upsetting my bosses at the UFC, and also to my fans and everyone else who was upset by the language in my Tweets, Torres said. I understand it was wrong, and I meant no harm or disrespect. Given the chance, I will do whatever it takes to make things right. I am going to learn from this.
Torres did not explain in his statement why he thinks his Twitter posts were wrong. Another UFC fighter, Forrest Griffin, made his own controversial comment in November, writing, Rape is the new missionary. He shortly pulled the comment down, but unlike Torres, Dana White defended Griffin's comments.
The Forrest Griffin thing was taken out of context, White said. What he said made absolute sense, but Twitter isn't the place to say it. You only have so many characters to explain yourself. He wasn't demeaning (the severity of) rape or saying anything positive about rape.
At the same news conference, UFC headliner Rashad Evans made an off-color reference to the ongoing allegations against former Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky, who is under fire for allegedly attacking and raping at least 10 young boys.
I'm gonna put my hands on you worse than that dude did to them other kids at Penn State, Evans said to Phil Davis in a back-and-forth spat. Davis is a Penn State alumnus.
White defended Evans:
Rashad is sorry for what he said, White said. He truly is. He said it in the heat of the moment. He definitely took the wrong choice of words. He knows it and I know he knows it.
Torres, meanwhile, will begin looking for another job. Torres is one of the more celebrated fighters in mixed martial arts and World Extreme Cagefighting history, going nearly six years without a single loss. He once won 17 straight fights before losing to Brian Bowles in August 2009, losing his WEC bantamweight title belt in the process. In his next fight, Torres submitted to Joseph Benadivdez in March 2010.