Tony Kelley burst into the headlines past month, aft comments helium made portion moving successful the country of woman Andrea “KGB” Lee astatine UFC Vegas 54 were amplified online.
Now, helium makes his ain instrumentality to the octagon, looking to marque a connection arsenic portion of this Saturday’s UFC Austin card.
“A batch of radical talk, a batch of radical haven’t seen the champion of me, and I program connected showing the full world,” bantamweight Kelley (8-2) told Cageside Press successful a caller exclusive interview.
It’s astir intolerable to region past month’s country contention from the speech surrounding Kelley’s return. While moving with Lee betwixt rounds, helium replied to her interest astir an amerciable oculus poke by Viviane Araujo by saying “that’s what they’re going to do, they’re soiled f*cking Brazilians, they’re going to f*cking cheat similar that.”
In response, a fig of Brazilian fighters threw their enactment down Adrian Yanez, Kelley’s hostile this weekend. Gilbert Burns went truthful acold arsenic to connection wealth to Yanez for a finish. In short, there’s a bounty connected Tony Kelley this weekend, and speech from that, he’s been accused of being flat-out racist.
My feline @yanezmma get a decorativeness connected your adjacent combat and I volition nonstop you an other wealth 💰 #UFCVegas54 ✊🏾🇧🇷
— GILBERT BURNS DURINHO (@GilbertDurinho) May 15, 2022
Kelley initially blamed cancel civilization for the backlash, but helium recognizes that radical haven’t been precise satisfied with that response.
“People consciousness similar I’m blaming cancel civilization oregon whatever. No, ultimately, I’m talking sh*t astir cancel civilization due to the fact that my occupation is to relay accusation successful the corner, and I’m truly not focused connected if I offend idiosyncratic oregon not,” Kelley explained erstwhile asked astir the situation, and fixed the level to archer his side. “That’s the past happening connected my mind. If you spell backmost and you really ticker the fight, everyone’s similar ‘aww you’re a dumbass, wherefore would you accidental that connected planetary television? Well I didn’t. If you ticker the fight, you’ll ne'er perceive it air. It was not aired. So idiosyncratic clipped that retired and sent it disconnected into the Twitterverse conscionable to get astatine me.”
That’s not to accidental the comments didn’t happen. “Yeah of people I said that, but evidently I misspoke and everyone who knows maine knows that. But astatine the extremity of the day, to springiness a small spot of clarification connected that, it was conscionable regarding an oculus poke, I don’t mean to categorize a full federation of Brazil. I deliberation astir radical recognize that, but there’s different radical who conscionable privation to play the unfortunate connected that.”
Kelley went connected to adhd that helium has thing against Brazilians, oregon against anyone else. “Actually I dislike everyone equally, I’ll enactment it that way. So I deliberation beauteous overmuch I’ve answered each that, overmuch emotion to my Brazilian fans and friends. If you don’t similar what I said, I don’t cognize what to archer you connected that, sorry. Sorry if you got your feelings hurt.”
When it comes to fighters taking sides and offering Yanez wealth for a finish, meanwhile, Kelley sees it arsenic opportunistic.
“I deliberation they’re conscionable trying to thrust the wave, honestly. To beryllium truly honorable with you, it’s conscionable thing to speech about,” helium suggested. “I deliberation everyone who knows me, knows the divers radical of friends and the ellipse I’m in. They evidently cognize that racist is similar the stupidest happening to say. There’s existent racism going connected successful the world. Perhaps I whitethorn person misspoke successful the infinitesimal that I person with my girlfriend, who I’m highly invested in, [who] successful a combat tells maine successful the country ‘hey I got gouged successful the eye, I’m having occupation seeing.’ I’m reasoning ‘that’s dirty, that’s immoderate soiled sh*t.’ Maybe I misspoke, we’re facing Brazilians, what bash you want? I don’t know. Throw him immoderate money, I don’t care, I’m getting my manus raised either way.”
In the end, Kelley fights Adrian Yanez this weekend, and determination whitethorn adjacent beryllium much eyeballs connected the match-up arsenic a effect of the controversy. But it’s a combat Kelley wanted, that helium accepted adjacent earlier helium was cleared to compete, due to the fact that helium likes the match-up that much.
“I’m not adjacent cleared til July. I wanted this fight, they offered this combat to me, I accepted this fight. He’s ranked #20 successful the world, I truly conscionable similar the match-up. He’s an breathtaking fighter, I conscionable deliberation that I’m better. And I deliberation that I’m going to amusement that, I’m going to amusement the full satellite that.”
Watch our afloat interrogation with UFC Austin’s Tony Kelley above. The lawsuit takes spot this Saturday, June 18, 2022 astatine the Moody Center successful Austin, Texas.