UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya has apologised after making a derogatory statement on social media, saying he would “rape” fellow fighter Kevin Holland.
The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) star made the apology after coming under scrutiny for his rape comment in a deleted video.
Adesanya made the comment in an Instagram video directed at Kevin Holland, he wrote:
“Bro, I will fuckin’ rape you,”
In a statement on Friday morning, the Nigerian-born New Zealand MMA fighter agreed that his comment was on called for, stating that he “crossed the line”.
The statement on Adesanya’s Twitter account read;
“Last week fight talk escalated to a point in which I 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.
“I am still growing under the spotlight, and I take this as a lesson to be more selective with words under pressure.”
After the statement, New Zealand’s Deputy Prime Minister Grant Robertson rebuked the Mixed Martial Art (MMA) fighter, asking the UFC to take necessary action against Adesanya.
“There is never a time to make flippant comments about rape. It’s just not something anybody should do.
“I’m sure Israel understands that. I believe he has deleted the tweet in question. It will be up to the UFC as to what they do.
“But I would certainly be making clear to him, and to anybody actually, that we have to take rape seriously.
“It’s not an issue that anyone should be making jokes or flippant comments about at all.”