UFC middleweight champion, Israel Adesanya, has issued an apology over his rape comments targeted at fellow fighter Kevin Holland.
Adesanya was widely criticized for the comment made in a video he has now deleted.
“Bro, I will f**kin’ rape you,” he had said.
However, in a statement on Friday, the Nigerian-born New Zealand MMA fighter admitted he “crossed the line”.
It 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.”
Earlier, New Zealand’s Deputy Prime Minister, Grant Robertson, urged the UFC to take action against Adesanya, as “there is never a time to make flippant comments about rape”.