“I’m not going to address that. That’s when I was a teenager, next question,” Garbrandt said to Sherdog.com reporter Anthony Walker following a Q-and-A session with fans who assembled at L.A. Live’s Novo for a promotional stop before the UFC 227 card he headlines in a rematch with bantamweight champion T.J. Dillashaw on Saturday.
Garbrandt (11-1) and Dillashaw (15-3) became elite competitors at Team Alpha Male, Urijah Faber’s famed gym in Sacramento.
The @Cody_Nolove account belonging to Garbrandt, 27, had at least 15 posts using the same term, with the most recent coming in March 2013, when Garbrandt was 21.
A spokeswoman said she did not expect the UFC to make a statement or extend an apology on behalf of Garbrandt, citing his youth at the time of the tweets.
Garbrandt insists he has grown and changed since his wife, Danny, gave birth in March to their first child, a son named Kai.
“I’ve never felt entitled to anything in my life,” Garbrandt said, according to The Associated Press. “I feel like everything happens for a reason. I’ve been given second chances my whole entire life.”
Last month, All-Star relief pitcher Josh Hader gave a tearful apology before his Milwaukee Brewers teammates following the discovery of his past racially insensitive tweets. Earlier this week, Atlanta Braves pitcher Sean Newcomb and Washington Nationals shortstop Trea Turner issued public apologies after offensive tweets from their past had resurfaced.
In April, Buffalo Bills first-round draft pick Josh Allen apologized for using the same insensitive term Garbrandt did, calling himself “young and dumb” for posting the tweets.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.