MANILA, Philippines – Post-fight interviews usually center around talking about the fight that just happened, or calling out fighters that they want to face next.
Yoel Romero, who defeated Lyoto Machida at UFC Fight Night 70 via knockout after landing several thudding elbows in the third round, appeared to make some unusual comments just days after the Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage in all 50 states.
“Hey UFC! Hey Miami! Hey Florida!,” the Cuban born fighter said, riling up the crowd at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Fla. Then the interview took an unexpected turn.
“What happened to you, USA? Wake up, USA! Go! Go back for you, go! Go for Jesus. No for gay Jesus people.”
Fox Sports, which televised the event, tweeted and quickly deleted a video of the speech with the accompanying message: “Yoel Romero beats Machida and then proceeds to scold the United States for believing that #LoveAlwaysWins”
At the post-fight press conference, Romero claimed that he was misunderstood because of his accent and intended to say “don’t forget Jesus.”
“I am a man of God and God is love. My expressions are always going to be about love. What I was trying to say in the Octagon was, look for the American Dream. There was a misunderstanding about gay marriage,” Romero said, according to CagePages.com.
“Who am I to judge anybody? Even though I didn’t refer to that, even though there is a misunderstanding. God made man to be free. Anybody can do what they want. I wouldn’t be the type of person to critique anybody.”
The 38-year-old Romero, who won silver in the 2000 Summer Olympics freestyle wrestling event, is now 10-1 in mixed martial arts, and 6-0 since joining the Ultimate Fighting Championship in 2013.
Twitter users quickly reacted, with some supporting Romero and some in disagreement.
Yoel Romero seems like a good dude. Congratulations on the win & hilarious post fight speech.— Benny Juarez-Stein (@allbenjamens) June 28, 2015
WWE wrestler turned UFC fighter CM Punk also had his fill of fun.
I may in fact, be gay Jesus. pic.twitter.com/56OdOw4kAc— Coach (@CMPunk) June 28, 2015
Punk, whose real name is Phil Brooks, added: “A moment to praise freedom of speech. We all have things we believe. We can all say them publicly, everyone has the right to make fun of us.”
Earlier in the day, the first openly gay boxer fought and won in Puerto Rico. Orlando Cruz, who revealed he was gay in 2012, improved his record to 21-4-1 (11 knockouts) with a fourth round knockout of Edwin Lopez (25-5-1, 23 KOs).
Give your opinion in the comments. What do you think he really said? – Rappler.com