Former UFC champ Robert Whittaker denounces athletes who used homophobic slurs: ‘Be a role model’

Former UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker recently took a stand against the homophobic remarks made by Charles Radtke and Manel Kape during UFC 293.

Despite a recent loss to Dricus du Plessis at UFC 290, Whittaker remains a formidable contender in the middleweight division. Anticipating a potential return to the Octagon by year-end, he aims to regain his footing in the competitive landscape.

Though Whittaker did not compete at UFC 293 in Sydney, his presence was deeply felt throughout the week of the event in his native Australia. He saw cage-side as combatants like Radtke, Kape, and Sean Strickland secured victories in the Octagon.

Unfortunately, Radtke and Kape marred their otherwise commendable performances by resorting to a homophobic slur in their speeches after the match. Whittaker is renowned for his clean-cut image in the UFC, and expressed his dissatisfaction with their approach.

In a recent episode of his MMArcade podcast, Whittaker candidly addressed Kape and Radtke’s controversial comments.

He stated, “They were saying some real slurry, bigotry, bad words…things you can’t say in 2024. I’m not one to tell anybody what to do. I just want everyone, all the fighters that fight…you wanna be real, I’m real, we’re all real. You want to be real with your fans and you want to be you, you don’t want to be a stickler or anything like that.”

“But just remember that we under the spotlight in front of millions of fans, and of those millions of fans…there are kids, impressionable kids, starting watching UFC through all ages. Really young kids watching. Set a good example.”

UFC President Dana White promptly disavowed Radtke and Kape’s slurs during the UFC 293 press conference after the match. While Radtke has issued an apology since the event, Kape has yet to do so publicly.

Radtke secured a unanimous decision victory over Mike Mathetha. Similarly, Kape claimed a decision win over short-notice replacement Felipe dos Santos.

These two controversies cast a shadow over what was an otherwise eventful night inside the Octagon at UFC 293. Whittaker remains hopeful that similar instances will not recur in the future.