The Daily Beast asks “Is Ultimate Fighting Gay?”:
Recently, gay bloggers, homophobic critics of MMA, and even straight fans have declared that one of the great appeals of the sport is its homoeroticism. They note the large number of gay men and straight women who have become fans of MMA and attribute it to the appeal of the nearly-naked hard bodies of the fighters and the intimate, often pelvic techniques of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, the favored grappling discipline in the sport.
Jim Buzinski, the publisher of Outsports.com, a web site devoted to gay sports fans and athletes that has counted NFL Network and ESPN Radio among its advertisers, calls MMA “intrinsically homoerotic.” He claims that “while it is impossible to quantify numbers, it’s clear that MMA has a gay following.” This month, one of the site’s most viewed articles was a list of “A Straight Guy’s Top MMA Hotties.” Spike TV’s “Ultimate Fighter” reality series, in which a group of fighters live together in a house and compete for a UFC contract, is especially popular with Outsports readers. Buzinski calls it “the most homoerotic show on TV.” Moreover, the site’s readers “routinely send us links to what they think are hot MMA fighters, so they clearly pay attention to more than just their skills. [UFC welterweight champion] Georges St. Pierre in tight trunks equals page views.”
And then there’s matbattle.com, a website devoted to “helping homosexual grapplers explore and express their fetish in a welcoming environment.” The site features movies and photos of gay Judo and Jiu-Jitsu fighters performing what it calls martial-arts “sporno.”
But it’s not all good times with tight trunks and sporno. Also referenced: fag-gate, Brock Lesnar, and the implication that flaunting your gayness at a sports bar showing the UFC is liable to get you Matthew Shepard’d.
Still, it is interesting to know that Dana White was ‘the first head of a major sports league to welcome gay athletes’ – I guess EliteXC wasn’t major – or does Tonya Evinger’s occasional penis predilection make her not gay enough? Despite saying ‘faggot’ on Youtube, White is clearly down with people doing it in the brown and I think that’s pretty awesome. MMA’s meathead horde, on the other hand … well, what can you expect? The state of Maine just took away gay people’s right to marry yesterday. So everyone’s got some improving to do.