Mixed martial arts fighter Andrew ‘The Beast’ Whitney has been “spoken with” after he lashed out and punched a ring girl following a close defeat.
Whitney, who is reportedly on the verge of joining the UFC circuit, thought he had beaten opponent Farkhad Sharipo in a fight in Florida earlier this week.
He was so confident of victory he raised his hand just before the announcement was made, only for Sharipo’s name to be called.
In a fit of rage, he clenched his fist, turned around and punched an unaware and unidentified ring girl on the jaw.
Amazingly, given she was not expecting the hit, the ring girl held her feet and was not seriously injured.
Whitney – who boasted he would “take Sharipo’s head off” earlier this year – did try and catch the ring girl after realising he had hit her.
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The CEO of the Titan Fighting Championship, Jeff Aronson, said the punch was thrown in “frustration”.
“In the immediate aftermath of losing a very close title fight at Titan FC 42, Andrew Whitney threw a punch out of frustration which unintentionally hit one of our ring card girls,” he said.
“Our ring card girl was attended to by the ringside doctor and officials. She indicated she was fine and was more surprised by the punch than injured.”
Aronson said that the incident would not occur again in the Titan Fighting Championship.
“Titan FC is broadcast around the world and we expect our athletes to conduct themselves in a professional manner at all times,” he added.
“We have spoken with Andrew Whitney and his management and are taking appropriate actions to make sure this unforeseen incident is not repeated.”
A blow to Whitney’s dreams?
The incident may harm Whitney’s chances of fighting in UFC events, something that he admitted is a long-held “dream” of his.
Whitney said in August, as quoted by bloodyelbow.com: “I should be a UFC fighter now.
“I’m more worthy to fight any guy in the UFC than a lot of these guys. I don’t know why I haven’t got my phone call yet – I know it’s a political game.”
He added in a radio interview with MMANews.com before his fight against Sharipo: “Everybody’s dream, my dream when I had my first amateur fight, was to get into UFC one day.
“Hopefully it happens soon, after I win this fight, but that’s not the biggest concern right now.”