Tony Kelley’s UFC run is over.
MMA Fighting reported on Thursday that the bantamweight is out of the promotion after his first-round TKO loss to Adrian Yanez at UFC Austin last month. Kelley (8-3) wasn’t cut mid-contract, rather the UFC opted not to re-sign. A fighter who has never been ranked losing their spot on the roster wouldn’t ordinarily be news, but Kelley attracted negative headlines in the lead-up to his final UFC appearance.
Back in May when Andrea Lee fought Brazil’s Viviane Araujo, Kelley came under fire after he was caught on camera telling Lee between rounds, “That’s what they’re gonna do, they’re dirty f—king Brazilians. They’re gonna f—king cheat like that.” Kelley said those remarks were in reference to a “dirty eye poke” in the opening round and instead of issuing an apology he was quick to blame “cancel culture.”
As for Kelley’s actual fighting career, he split his four fights at 2-2. He lost his debut to Kai Kamaka III while picking up Fight of the Night honors in the process, rebounded with consecutive wins over Ali AlQaisi and Randy Costa, but ran into a buzzsaw against Texas’ Adrian Yanez. With the crowd booing Kelley and supporting their home fighter, Kelley was outstruck and stopped by the rising star. Needless to say, fans and several fighters were pleased with the result. Kelley would later go to social media and push for a rematch. Well the only way that happens is if Yanez gets cut any time soon, which looks unlikely.
Anyway, here’s Yanez’s immediate reaction to the news to wrap this all up.
There goes my rematch….
— Adrian Yanez (@yanezmma) July 7, 2022
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