Tony Kelley Off UFC Roster Following Loss to Yanez

Tony Kelley UFC
Tony Kelley, UFC 269 ceremonial weigh-in Credit: Gabriel Gonzalez/Cageside Press

Controversial bantamweight Tony Kelley is no longer part of the UFC roster.

Kelley (8-3) most recently fought on June 18 at UFC Austin, in a high-profile match-up with Contender Series alum Adrian Yanez. He lost the fight via TKO in the opening round, and also missed weight for the bout.

UFC Roster Watch, an automated service that monitors the promotion’s athlete database, first noted that Kelley had been removed from the active roster.

A member of the UFC roster since 2020, Kelley went 2-2 with the company, picking up wins against Randy Costa and Ali AlQaisi, while dropping his debut to Kai Kamaka III.

It was his actions while serving as a corner to girlfriend Andrea “KGB” Lee, however, that got Kelley in hot water earlier this year. Coaching Lee between rounds in a fight with Viviane Araujo, Kelley responded to KGB’s complaints of an eye poke by saying “that’s what they do, they’re dirty f*cking Brazilians,” adding “they’re going to f*cking cheat like that.”

Kelley would later defend the comments, suggesting the backlash was part of cancel culture. In a one-on-one with Cageside Press, he denied any accusations of racism.

Whether or not cancel culture played a hand in Kelley departing the UFC remains to be seen. With four fights under his belt, the promotion opted not to re-sign him, per a report by MMA Fighting. No official statement has been made by the promotion or Kelley’s team.