UFC 293 winner apologizes for homophobic slur, Dana White reacts

On top of his UFC 293 win, Manel Kape got himself in a bit of hot water during his Octagon interview.

By: Milan Ordoñez | 2 weeks ago
UFC 293 winner apologizes for homophobic slur, Dana White reacts
IMAGO | Jasmin Frank / USA Today

Manel Kape put on a memorable performance at UFC 293. The 29-year-old Angolan dealt Felipe dos Santos his first professional loss in their bout right before the co-main event at the main card. 

Kape, however, put himself in a bit of hot water during his Octagon interview with Daniel Cormier, as he put Kai Kara-France on blast. 

Kape apologizes for his homophobic slur at UFC 293

Things got heated between Kape and Kara-France, who was in the audience at the time. What was supposed to be the usual intense call-out took a left turn when Kape turned things way personal. 

“No one gonna do anything. You know why? All your teammates is a bunch of f—ts.” 

The UFC didn’t put up Kape’s interview on its YouTube channel, perhaps because of its sensitive nature. But of course, the internet always has receipts. 

Kape did apologize for his actions during the media scrum. 

“I’m sorry for that. (I was) emotional, you know. During the fight, during the interview, we are all emotional. We say things that we don’t want to say, but we feel bad about that. I apologize.”

Dana White reacts to Kape’s statements 

During his conversation with the media, UFC president Dana White expectedly received questions about the situation. As far as he’s concerned, Kape was sincere with his apology.

“He came out and apologized on his own free will. We didn’t tell him to do anything, and the fact that he did that means he means it. 

“I don’t make anybody apologize for anything. You do what you want. You’re grown men and women. You’re able to say whatever you want. 

“He did, he came back and was embarrassed and he apologized. I’m sure some people will accept his apology and I’m sure some people won’t.” 

Will the UFC impose sanctions? 

The UFC has a Code of Conduct that fighters must abide by. Regarding such situations, here’s what it states:

“Fighters shall conduct themselves in accordance with commonly accepted standards of decency, social conventions, and morals, and fighters will not commit any act or become involved in any situation or occurrence or make any statement which will reflect negatively upon or bring disrepute, contempt, scandal, ridicule, or disdain to the fighter or the UFC.” 

It includes: 

“Derogatory or offensive conduct, including without limitation insulting language, symbols, or actions about a person’s ethnic, background, heritage, color, race, national origin, age, religion, disability, gender or sexual orientation.”

According to the document, violations “subjects the fighter to discipline, other conduct can also result in disciplinary action.”  

But as far as White is concerned, “we make mistakes.” 

“I think these guys get a little excited, and you make bad mistakes. He felt like he was treated like shit and all that stuff. Got emotional for whatever reason. 

“We make mistakes. I am not holier than thou, either. We’ve all in positions where we’ve made mistakes. And like I always say, it’s how you recover from it, and how you carry yourself after you make the mistake.” 

He gave a similar answer when asked if the UFC would try to talk Sean Strickland into behaving more appropriately as the newly-minted company champion

UFC 293 SYDNEY, Sean Strickland of the USA reacts after defeating Israel Adesanya of Nigeria during the Middleweight Title bout of UFC 293 at Qudos Bank Arena in Sydney, Sunday, September 10, 2023. ( !ACHTUNG: NUR REDAKTIONELLE NUTZUNG, KEINE ARCHIVIERUNG UND KEINE BUCHNUTZUNG! SYDNEY NEW SOUTH WALES AUSTRALIA PUBLICATIONxNOTxINxAUSxNZLxPNGxFIJxVANxSOLxTGA Copyright: xDANxHIMBRECHTSx 20230910001839938612
IMAGO | Dan Himbrecht / AAP

“We put this guy on the spot. There was no, ‘Holy shit, we didn’t know this was gonna happen’ going into this. Who the hell knows what’s gonna happen in here in 15, 20, 30 minutes whenever he gets in here. It is what it is. 

“This is the fight business, boys and girls. And he is one of the nuttiest in the sport.” 

Manel Kape’s UFC run

Homophobic slurs aside, Kape is now on a four-fight win streak as he improved to a record of 19-6. He also won an extra $50K bonus, his first since entering the UFC in 2021.

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About the author
Milan Ordoñez
Milan Ordoñez

Milan Ordoñez has been covering combat sports since 2012 and has been part of the Bloody Elbow staff since 2016. He’s also competed in amateur mixed martial arts and submission grappling tournaments.

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