Jeff Molina’s gesture of love and support was met with a vile response from a segment of the MMA fan base on social media.
The rising flyweight contender had an eventful UFC Vegas 56 fight week capped off by a split decision win over Zhalgas Zhumagulov on Saturday. In the lead-up to the bout, Molina found himself addressing a slew of comments related to his decision to wear the UFC’s special uniform in recognition of Pride Month, a cause the promotion is spearheading in June to help raise money and awareness for the LGBTQIA+ Center of Southern Nevada.
Molina stated after the fight, that he felt bothered and frustrated by criticisms of his decision. He said that he thought people would be more open-minded .”
Molina shared some comments he got on Monday’s MMA Hour . They ranged from harsh criticism to outright hatred.
” “It was odd because it seemed so simple and nonchalant,” Molina stated. “Like, dude, check out my shorts, there’s rainbow coloring on it, it’s just cool that the UFC is doing this for Pride Month. After that, I stopped looking at my smartphone for several hours. I don’t use my phone much during fight week. I then look at the comments on my phone. Actually, not really, the comments were pretty much all pretty hateful.
“There were a couple of narratives in the comments like, ‘The UFC is just doing this to exploit, it’s a business tactic, they’re doing this for money, they don’t really care. Blah, blah, blah. The rest of the comments were: “Man, you support gays, you’re going to burn in Hell.” Allah will make sure you burn in Hell or God will make sure you burn in Hell.’ I’m telling you there were dozens and dozens of these, like, ‘You should get cut from the UFC for supporting f******.’ There was a lot of those.
” I looked at the DMs and saw that my DMs were split between the hate and the love. From the love side it was a lot of guys like, ‘Hey man, I didn’t know you rolled that way. It’s cute. But on the flip side, it was the same hateful and spiteful stuff. I knew I had to deal with it .”
Molina joked that he was flattered by the former, though he himself is straight. After an amusing exchange with Daniel Cormier, UFC commentator at Molina’s April promotion, he felt that the reaction justified him.
“DC said that I wasn’t the most attractive flyweight fighter in the UFC at my first weigh-ins,” Molina stated. He said, “He is like, I don’t see it at any. I don’t think he’s that attractive.’ He said that verbatim. To get the love of men around the globe, who think I am a handsome man, I will .”
Molina said that even though the Pride Month news had caused some commotions, he didn’t think about changing his mind.
“Absolutely not,” Molina said. Molina said, “If anything I would like to have a larger vinyl.” That thought didn’t even cross my mind.”
In some ways Molina seems more overwhelmed by all the love than the hate he has received. Molina has shrugged off negative feedback, considering it less shocking than harmful. But when it comes to the compliments, he’s at a loss how to react to them because he doesn’t believe he’s done anything special.
“What’s weird is I feel like I’m being appreciated for something I shouldn’t be appreciated for, if that makes sense,” Molina said. “And I’m not trying to backtrack on anything I said, I spoke 100 percent from the heart. I meant exactly what I said. It’s almost like being applauded because you said, “Murder is wrong.” Racism is wrong. Hating someone because they are loved is not right. And who the f*** cares at the end of the day? This is the one thing that really makes me uncomfortable about this entire situation.
” I know that I have an opportunity to fight for the UFC. It is the largest organization in the world. But at the same time I feel weird being appreciated for something that should just be f****** common decency. Just being a human being.”