UFC officials Monday announced the decision, which was made after the organization discovered a racist Instagram post made by Manawaroa 18 months ago.
“The UFC organization had hired an investigation company in Australia to conduct thorough background investigations on potential contestants for ‘The Ultimate Fighter Nations’ television series,” the UFC statement read. “Unfortunately, the background checks did not uncover all of the social media history by contestant Tyler Manawaroa. The UFC is committed to having an environment that is free from discrimination. Consequently, UFC has notified Manawaroa that regardless of how far he advances in the completed television series, the organization will not be offering him a contract to compete in the UFC.”
The post has since been deleted, though MMAJunkie.com has a screenshot.
Manawaroa asserted Monday that the post was intended to be taken as a joke after cast mate Kajan Johnson confronted him on Twitter. Regardless, Manawaroa’s actions have effectively ended his UFC career before it began.
A 10-fight pro, Manawaroa has never tasted defeat in the cage, racking up nine finishes over more than two years of competition. “Wild Thing” joined the cast of “TUF Nations” last year and competed during the show’s most recent episode, defeating Team Canada’s Nordine Taleb to advance to the middleweight semifinals.