The UFC has launched an investigation into conspiracy theory markings on the gear of one of its cutmen.
Don House, a longtime UFC cutman and boxing trainer, wore patches on his arm and chest during UFC Fight Night on Saturday in Las Vegas. The patches referenced the fringe internet conspiracy theory QAnon. They could be seen on the event broadcast while House was working on fighter Curtis Blaydes' cuts in the corner between rounds of the main event.
"This was a violation of our staff event outfitting policy and the matter will be thoroughly investigated," the UFC said in a statement to ESPN.
Sources familiar with the situation told ESPN that House did not ask for approval from the UFC to wear the patches and the promotion was unaware of the markings until photos surfaced on social media Monday.
Sources said the UFC does not endorse the sentiments expressed by the patches.
House told MMAFighting.com that he regrets wearing the QAnon insignias and that he doesn't believe in the group's conspiracy theories and hopes he didn't cause the UFC any "embarrassment."
"All the conspiracy, all the stuff they say about the group, I've got nothing to do with that," House told MMAFighting.com. "I just like the message: Where we go one, we go all."
QAnon is a theory born on internet forums that claims there is a shadowy "deep state" coup planned against President Donald Trump, as well as a widespread human trafficking ring led by "global elites." There is no evidence to back any of the claims.
In May 2019, an FBI intelligence bulletin from the bureau's Phoenix field office obtained by Yahoo News mentioned QAnon as one of the conspiracy theories considered a growing threat for domestic terrorism.
House's patches were not the first time that QAnon has permeated the MMA space. Last week, a flag with the letter Q was spotted on the roof of Jackson Wink MMA in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The gym is home to UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones and former women's bantamweight champion Holly Holm.
The photo of the flag was spotted by Albuquerque city councilor Pat Davis, who tweeted an image of it on June 16.
In a tweet later that day, Jackson Wink MMA spokesperson James Hallinan wrote that an "unknown individual defaced the roof" of the gym.
"We immediately removed it & denounce hate/alt-right groups," Hallinan wrote. "We equally denounce those falsely portraying our extremely diverse & accepting mma gym for their own shameful politics and agendas."