UFC fighters Charles Radtke and Manel Kape apologise for homophobic slurs

Side by side images of UFC fighters Charles Radtke and Manel Kape. Both fighters have apologised after using homophobic slurs during an UFC event in Australia

UFC fighters Charles Radtke and Manel Kape have apologised to fans after using homophobic slurs following their match wins in Sydney, Australia.

Radtke defeated Mike ‘Blood Diamond’ Mathetha at UFC 293 in Sydney on Saturday (9 September). It was his first UFC victory, and it should have been a moment that he would savour forever. 

But his first win inside the Octagon will be remembered for the fighter hurling homophobic slurs and cursing at the audience. 

“F**k all you f****ts up in the f**king crowd,” the fighter told the booing crowd. “Come down here and get some you p***y-a** b***h. F**k you.”

A couple of hours later, Radtke offered his “sincere” apology to fans for his remarks in a statement on X, the platform once called Twitter. 

The UFC fighter said the homophobic slurs were “not a reflection of who” he is and blamed his emotions for “running high” after the win.

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“Those comments are not a reflection of who I am, and they don’t belong on a platform as great as what the UFC has provided me,” Radtke said. 

“My emotions were running high. It’s hard to explain the way your mind works when you’re locked in a cage to fight another man with your entire livelihood on the line.

“I plan to learn from my mistakes from both during and after the fight, and I’m hoping I can get an opportunity to correct them in the future.”

After Radtke’s outburst earlier in the night, Manel Kape launched into a similarly expletive-laden and homophobic tirade during UFC 293. The hateful rant was aimed at his original opponent Kai Kara-France, who had to bow out of the fight after suffering from a concussion. 

“I’m going to fight you next and if you refuse again to fight me, I’m going to your city, I’m going to your academy and I’m going to spar you there,” Kape shouted. “All your teammates are f****ts.”

In a post-match interview, the flyweight UFC fighter said he was “sorry” for using the homophobic slur after the match and, like Radtke, blamed his heightened emotions. 

“During the fight, during interviews, we say things we don’t want to say,” Kape said. “We feel bad about that. I apologise.”

UFC president Dana White didn’t indicate that the fighters would face any consequences for using homophobic slurs in the Octagon, the BBC reported. 

White believed the fighters got a “little excited” and made “bad mistakes”. 

“We make mistakes, I am not holier than thou either, we’ve all been 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,” he said. 

In 2009, White himself apologised for the “hurt” he caused when he used a homophobic slur while criticising a reporter.

March this year saw UFC fighter Jeff Molina hit out at “homophobic” fans after he came out publicly as bisexual. Molina is the first male UFC fighter to openly identify as part of the LGBTQ+ community, according to ESPN.  

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