A UFC mixed martial arts fighter has denied that he sent homophobic messages over Instagram, claiming that his phone was stolen.

Jon ‘Bones’ Jones, who is currently the UFC lightweight champion, had been accused of making anti-gay comments about a Swedish boy who had been heckling him on Twitter.

According to FOX Sports, his official Instagram account posted several messages on the boy’s photos, saying “fag boys”, “fag shit”, “you definitely have sexual identity issues”, and “homosexuality is a sin”.

His manager Malki Kawa denied the fighter had sent the messages, and said that his phone had been stolen.

The fighter later tweeted that his account had been “hacked”, and that he was “changing all of my social media passwords”.

According to FOX Sports, last week Jones declined to answer a question about whether fighting was ready for an openly gay player, as he “really had not thought about it.”

UFC president Dana White has defended the fighter, saying: “He got hacked. Originally when I found out he was saying he was being hacked, I was like, what are we all gonna say stupid stuff and then say that we were hacked.

“But if you look at his timeline. First of all, he rarely ever posts anything or responds on Instagram. He got hacked. They got in there. They changed his password. Like 11 people had his password that surround him. We got that squashed and taken care of.”

Last year, UFC Fighter Nate Diaz was suspended and fined $20,000 (£13,000) for tweeting the word ‘fag’.