UFC fighter Cody Durden has been accused of Sinophobia after a controversial comment he made following a win over a Chinese fighter at UFC Vegas 43.
After Durden, who is an American, secured his first Octagon win over Qileng Aori via unanimous decision, he raised eyebrows with his post-match interview with Daniel Cormier.
“I had to send him back to China where he came from,” a pumped-up Durden told Cormier, who responded by cutting off the interview and walking away.
Durden copped huge backlash on social media for his comment, but refused to walk back what he said in his press conference which followed.
“If they don’t like it, do something, sign the contract, it doesn’t matter to me,” he said.
“I said what I said and it is what it is. Emotions were high. It’s the fight business, you know?
“He was punching me in the face and I was punching him in the face. It’s his family or mine, and tonight my family eats.”
Durden then took to his personal Twitter account to shed some light on why he said what he said.
“Listen, the guy was disrespectful, and wouldn’t shake my hand at the weigh ins,” he wrote.
“After beating him, I simply meant he could go home wherever that may have been. I apologize if I offended anyone, that certainly was not my intention!! I love you all! See you at the top.”
However, the apology did not sit well with a number of people, including British wrestling champion Muhammad Mokaev and Australian UFC fighter Casey O’Neill.