It's one day after the first real welterweight title fight in 18 months, and the morning kicks off with a strong batch of ‘outrage'. Seth Davis (@SethDavisHoops), a basketball analyst for Sports Illustrated and CBS Sports, implied that MMA is inferior to boxing for being "homoerotic" and he doesn't want his kids watching UFC.
You know the drill. Mainstream media said something bad about the MMA while putting up bonus points for calling it homoerotic and inferior to boxing. Everyone get mad! Scream that jiu jitsu isn't rolling on the floor with sweaty men, it's an extremely effective martial art. Those guys aren't hugging, it's called a clinch and it's very technical. Wanderlei Silva would like to have a word with you about it.
Stop it. All of you stop yelling at Seth Davis right now because this isn't his fault. It's yours.
MMA openly invites the "homoerotic" label at every turn. Just last night, longtime UFC commentator and personality Joe Rogan directly compared a fight to an openly gay celebrity having anal sex with another man. But let's not get hung up on what happened in the past 24 hours when we're only weeks removed from the birth of the catch phrase "let me bang, bro."
Write Julian Lane and TUF off as the gutter of MMA culture. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira is a lifelong jiu jitsu practitioner and still needs to ask "But what if the gay person has that malice of having physical contact with me, of staying there grappling?" If grappling isn't homoerotic then why would the jiu jitsu coach of multiple UFC champions, as well as a UFC and PRIDE heavyweight champ himself, refuse to train with a gay student?
For as much as people deride the so called "casual fans" for the culture of MMA, the core fanbase is the worst of the lot. It wasn't mainstream media who saw PRIDE and UFC champions unifying the middleweight belt and said "That looks like a man getting raped in the butt, I should make that more clear in an animation." Core fans did though.
An innocuous search for longtime training partners and black belts doesn't return results of their training or belt lineage. It's an oft repeated gay joke that gained so much notoriety, Michael Schiavello felt the need to address it in an interview.
Mainstream, regular people believe MMA is homoerotic. How could they think otherwise? It's what we've told them at every turn, from UFC representatives to the dedicated fanbase. Seth Davis isn't wrong. He's repeating what you, the educated core fan, have taught him.