Turns out it’s not just the Nelk Boys who former UFC middleweight champion Luke Rockhold sees as “degenerates,” it’s also their Full Send MMA reporter.
As the popular YouTube group’s association with the UFC has grown — peaking with a contract-awarding role on an episode of Dana White Lookin’ For a Fight — they’ve been expanding their involvement in the sport, namely with the launch of the Full Send MMA channel.
But so far, that creation has made headlines for the wrong reasons.
At UFC 276 last month, reporter Shawny Mack met a notorious slap during his first assignment. After approaching fan favorite Nate Diaz backstage, Mack received a Stockton slap after being accused of badmouthing Diaz’s friend Nick Maximov.
Now, the reporter is back in the spotlight after a controversial interview with Ecuadorian bantamweight contender Marlon Vera prior to UFC San Diego. Ahead of the event, Mack brought along lucha libre masks — a staple of Mexican culture.
Rockhold: “Do Your F*cking Homework”
During his appearance at UFC 278 media day on Wednesday, which came ahead of his return fight against Paulo Costa this weekend in Utah, middleweight veteran Luke Rockhold laid into the Full Send reporter.
After singling him out among the other reporters in the room, Rockhold, who’s trained alongside “Chito” under coach Jason Parillo, told Mack to do his “homework” to avoid the “disrespect” of mixing up separate cultures.
“I see this mother*cker right here,” Rockhold said whilst pointing at the reporter. “You gotta do your f*cking homework. You f*cking — this degenerate culture of f*cking Barstool Sports and Full Send, you gotta do your homework. You can’t approach ‘Chito’ and give him a f*cking Mexican mask about his culture. His culture, he’s f*cking Ecuadorian motherf*cker. Do your homework.”
When the masks were pulled out during the interview, Vera says, “We’re close to Mexico, why not?” Many have since suggested that the bantamweight’s response backs up Rockhold’s point, with the Ecuadorian appearing to give a reminder to the reporter that he’s not of Mexican descent.
Nevetheless, Mack attempted to defend the moment, insisting that he got the idea approved by Vera’s manager beforehand.
“It wasn’t to do with his background, I was literally just in San Diego, bro. Jason House is his manager, who’s a friend of mine, I texted Jason before I did the interview,” the reporter said. “I said, ‘Hey, Jason, I went out, I picked up this thing from the market.’ Nothing to do with ‘Chito’s culture, it was just something interesting… I worked it out with Jason.”
Rockhold quickly interjected, noting that Vera took it as him being related to Mexican culture in some way. The Californian also told the reporter that just because he’s granted access to fighters through Dana White’s ties with the Nelk Boys, that doesn’t mean he gets away without doing his due diligence.
“It was a disrespect to him and where he’s from… Being a reporter is about doing your homework, and really understanding. I know you guys got carte blanche because Dana’s f*cking partnering with you guys right now, but f*cking do your f*cking homework and grow a better culture.”
The question many have poised on social media surrounds whether or not the reporter would have brought out the same masks had he been interviewing a white American on the same card, seeing as it was apparently solely because he was “literally in San Diego.”
Rockhold’s answer to that is certainly clear.
What do you make of Luke Rockhold’s criticism of the Full Send reporter?