There were several fights during UFC 259 that sparked comments due to controversial endings, dominant performances, and stunning decisions. However, one created headlines due to the trash talk taking place inside the octagon. UFC fighter Tim Elliott called Jordan Espinosa a "woman beater" during the fight.
The interaction occurred near the end of the round. Espinosa was on his back next to the cage while Elliott was delivering elbows to his head and neck area. The cameras caught the audio inside the empty arena, which brought the commentary to a halt. Joe Rogan was making a point about Elliott roughing up Espinosa's nose, but he stopped talking after hearing the "woman beater" comment.
"I heard you choked your girl in 2018. Are you a woman beater? She messaged me," Elliott seemingly said. Espinosa responded with "Did she? You don't know the whole story." The back-and-forth continued with Elliott saying, "I know enough." Espinosa countered with "You don't know s—."
Elliott ultimately secured the victory by unanimous decision. He then faced questions during the press conference about his now-viral comments. Elliott explained that he had received messages on Facebook showing text exchanges between Espinosa and a woman. There were also photos included that showed a woman with choke marks around her neck.
"I didn't say that for anybody else to hear, because I don't know the whole story," Elliott said to reporters. "[...] Again, I don't know the whole story. It's not something I wanted the whole world to hear. That was supposed to be between him and I. I didn't know the mic was going to pick up on it. It was kind of disturbing — the whole thing. I have a daughter." He said that it was difficult keeping his cardio in check due to this extra emotion.
While Elliott provided an explanation for why he called his opponent a woman beater, the comments did not sit well with others close to the situation. Espinosa's manager, Brian Hamper, said after the fight that the accusation was "reckless slander."
Elliott did clarify that while he had extra motivation for the fight due to the "disturbing" messages, it did not serve as the reason for a surprising moment. He rubbed his blood on Espinosa's face. Though Elliott said that his coach had instructed him to do so and that he would do whatever it takes without breaking any rules in order to achieve victory.