UFC reinstates Miguel Torres
LAS VEGAS -- Bantamweight mixed martial artist Miguel Torres is back in the UFC following a brief release from the promotion for an inappropriate tweet he posted to his personal account earlier this month.
Torres, a former WEC champion, was cut by UFC president Dana White on Dec. 8 for referencing a rape-related joke the fighter says originated on a television show.
The two sat down to discuss the incident for the first time in Las Vegas on Wednesday. After hearing Torres had visited and made donations to several rape crisis centers in the Chicago-area where he lives, White agreed to allow him back into the organization.
Some guys in this sport, would deny and lie and say they didn't this. (Miguel Torres) didn't do any of that. He went and handled himself like a man. I respect that. So, he's back in the UFC.” -- Dana White, UFC president
"We all make mistakes," White said. "I've made mistakes. It's not about the mistake you make, it's about how you handle yourself after. Some guys in this sport, would deny and lie and say they didn't this. (Miguel) didn't do any of that. He went and handled himself like a man.
"I respect that. So, he's back in the UFC."
The initial tweet, which was later removed by Torres, read, "If a windowless van was called a surprise van, more people wouldn't mind going for rides in them. Everyone likes surprises."
Torres, 30, said he did not entertain any offer from another promotion during his break with the UFC.
"I've dedicated my whole life since I was 13 to be in the UFC and be a UFC champion," Torres said. "When I got cut, it showed me what I say on social media is very powerful. I took a lot of heat for what I said and I realized words are very powerful.
"What I said hurt a lot of people and I had to man up to that." The situation has led some to wonder why the UFC doesn't install a clear set of guidelines on its social media policy. Earlier this year, UFC stars Forrest Griffin and Rashad Evans made headlines for rape-related public comments, however neither were suspended or fined by the UFC.
At an annual UFC summit in May, fighters were encouraged to use social media, specifically Twitter, more -- and were even awarded bonuses in some cases for doing so creatively. The summit did not offer any educational classes on the potentially negative effects that can occur.
According to White, no formal policy will be drafted regarding social media. In his opinion, doing so is unnecessary. He simply asks his athletes to exercise common sense.
"It's common sense," White said. "Sometimes we've got to go through stuff like this to realize it."
The UFC president went on to say he can relate to these circumstances, having dealt with it in the past. In 2009, White created waves by using a derogatory homosexual term during a three-minute video blog.
Although White apologized for using the word and said Wednesday it's still an incident he regrets, he also points to certain groups whose attacks following these situations go above and beyond what they need to.
"We'll go by my scale," White told ESPN.com. "A lot of stuff out there is bull----. Believe me. I've dealt with more of these groups than you can imagine. If you have an ounce of fame and you say something, they come after you. They're not just looking for an apology, they're looking to make an example out of you.
"There's always somebody who's going to be offended or has an agenda. I think we do a pretty good job of siphoning through the bull---- and what's real."
Torres (40-4) last fought on Nov. 19 at UFC 139 in San Jose, Calif. He is considered one of the top 135-pound fighters in the world, having successfully defended the WEC belt three times in his career. He holds a 2-1 record since joining the UFC this year.
Brett Okamoto covers mixed martial arts for ESPN.com.
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