UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya has apologised after he mentioned on social media he would “rape” fellow fighter Kevin Holland.
Nigerian-born Adesanya posted an expletive-laden video on Instagram earlier this week directed at Holland, who had focused him in a sequence of remarks.
The 31-year-old, who at present resides in New Zealand, later deleted the video and mentioned he had “crossed the line”.
“I understand the gravity of this word and how it can affect and hurt other people apart from my opponent, although that was never my intention,” Adesanya tweeted.
— Israel Adesanya (@stylebender) March 25, 2021
“I am still growing under the spotlight, and I take this as a lesson to be more selective with words under pressure.”
Adesanya’s apology got here after Grant Robertson, New Zealand’s deputy prime minister and minister of sport and recreation, condemned his remark.
“We have to take rape seriously. It’s not an issue that anyone should be making jokes or flippant comments about at all,” Robertson mentioned.
Adesanya was undefeated in MMA with a 20-0 document till he was overwhelmed by Jan Blachowicz in a light-weight heavyweight title match at UFC 259 on March 6.