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UFC bantamweight Casey Kenney is facing huge backlash from combat sports fans following his remarks about Australian fighter Megan Anderson.
In less than two months time, Anderson will take on the legendary Amanda Nunes for the women's featherweight title at UFC 259.
But despite being deep into her rigorous training champ ahead of the bout, Anderson has been forced to address a serious issue outside of the octagon.
While appearing on The Timbo Sugarshow podcast alongside fellow UFC star Sean O'Malley, Kenney was asked by the host whether he would "smash" Anderson.
But instead of being a professional and refusing to answer (or even biting back at the host for asking such an inappropriate question about a UFC colleague), Kenney gave a pretty disgusting response.
"Probably not, man," he said live on air.
"She's not too... well, I mean, if it came down to it, and it was like 5am, 4, she's a 5am-er, 4am-er.
"Just us two hanging out, like, 'F*** it, let's do it.'"
I guess MMA is a line of work where you can publicly talk about whether you'd have sex with a coworker in an utterly degrading way and face zero consequences.
Disgusting behavior and it's unfortunate that he'll be fighting on my card in March. https://t.co/hJd1OuHIyD
- Megan Anderson (@MeganA_mma) January 28, 2021
It didn't take too long for the video of the incident to go viral on social media.
And the clip eventually found its way to Anderson's phone.
"I guess MMA is a line of work where you can publicly talk about whether you'd have sex with a co-worker in an utterly degrading way and face zero consequences." the Aussie tweeted in response.
"Disgusting behaviour and it's unfortunate that he'll be fighting on my card in March."
But it wasn't just Anderson who was outraged with what was said on the podcast.
Other big-name characters from the mixed martial arts community quickly stepped in and condemned Kenney for his despicable actions.
It needs to be clear to everyone that @MeganA_mma is an outstanding MMA competitor who deserves more respect from all of her peers. We need to do better
- Big John McCarthy (@JohnMcCarthyMMA) January 29, 2021
Respected former referee and pioneer of the sport John McCarthy took to Twitter, saying: "It needs to be clear to everyone that Megan Anderson is an outstanding MMA competitor who deserves more respect from all of her peers. We need to do better."
While UFC commentator Jon Anik added: "Absolutely disgusting is right. I'm really sorry you are dealing with this and there absolutely should be consequences. Shameful. On a brighter note, I am very much looking forward to your championship opportunity."
MMA fans piled in too labelling the remarks as "disturbing", "disgusting" and "degrading".
As for Kenney, he was forced to issue a public apology following the heavy criticism and backlash.
"I'm sorry this upset you. I will be more careful with my words," Kenney said.
"I was just answering a question and thought it was all a joking matter. I see I was wrong and I'm sorry. Best of luck with training camp and your fight."
Even Sean O'Malley's head coach Tim Welch, the podcast co-host who asked the original question about 'smashing', chimed in.
He tweeted: "The only reason I asked that is because your way taller then Casey! I think you're hot AF."
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