Tony Kelley laughed off backlash from social media platforms over what was perceived to be insensitive and racist remarks he made while cornering for Andrea Lea.
The 35-year-old was ringside for Lee and was caught between rounds telling her, "That's what they're gonna do. They're dirty f******* Brazilians. They're going to f***ing cheat like that."
He was talking specifically about her Brazilian opponent Viviane Araujo, who he felt had crossed a line with a poke to the eye that went unpunished by the match referee. There is little question he was making judgements about them based on their nationality.
His words drew immediate condemnation and criticism, on social media and beyond, with Brazilian stars Cris Cyborg, Gilbert Burns and upcoming opponent Adrian Yanez all speaking out against him.
UFC welterweight Belal Muhammad was more direct, branding him a racist.
However, Kelley has brushed off the criticism, denying any racist connotations and even going as far as claiming he was a victim of cancel culture.
Araujo answered Kelley in the best way possible on the night by going on to defeat Lee by unanimous decision.