Late yesterday the news that Tony Kelley was released from the UFC became official. An account dedicated to tracking the UFC roster notified the MMA fandom of the change.
❌ Fighter removed: Tony Kelley
— UFC Roster Watch (@UFCRosterWatch) July 7, 2022
UFC officials confirmed the news to MMA Fighting that Tony Kelley’s contract was up and the promotion was not renewing it.
Kelley’s run in the UFC concluded with a 2-2 score. Kelley was signed back in 2020 with a professional record which then consisted of 6 wins and 1 loss.
Kelley is of course best remembered from that performance cornering his girlfriend Andrea Lee when he discriminated against Brazilians saying:
“That’s what they are going to do, they are dirty fu**ing Brazilians. They are going to fu**ing cheat like that.”
Following the backlash, Kelley had blamed ‘cancel culture’ for the backlash.
Of course his case isn’t helped by Andrea Lee, whose ex husband had a WWII Germany tattoo that received a lot of attention in the media prior to their divorce thanks to him cornering her.
Since then Kelley doubled down on his comments regarding Cancel Culture.
“Cancel Culture is real. What I said was real and in the heat of battle, and in no way had any type of racist connotations meant…but if that’s the way you take it, I dgaf. So many people quick to say racist… that shits getting so old. My reference was to a dirty eye poke.”
But the whole issue of racism would come to eclipse his MMA career when he was matched with Adrian Yanez. To make matters worse, Kelley missed weight and had to forfeit an extra 20% of his purse to Yanez.
Yanez sent Kelley to the shadow realm with an amazing performance. However Kelley couldn’t reconcile with the loss despite the convincing nature of the knock out and ended up basically asking for a rematch. Gilbert Burns sent Yanez a cash reward for knocking out Kelley in the days after the fight.
When all was said and done Yanez had made it into the rankings – and soon it was revealed that Kelley’s tenure with the UFC had come to a close.