The UFC is the biggest promotion in the world of mixed martial arts right now, and there are multiple layers to it. Not only does the company provide bright lights and the grandest of stages for its athlete to perform on, but they also never seem to prevent its fighters from “being who you are” and “saying it like it is”
The same is the case when it comes to being a gay athlete. As we move forward, times are changing and so has the company. While the company as a whole hadn’t necessarily been at the forefront of any homophobic lash-out, president Dana White did come under the radar at one point for his anti-gay remarks in the past.
About a decade ago, we saw UFC’s first openly gay fighter come out of the closet. While the media went berserk at the time of the event, the fighter herself, Liz Carmouche dealt with the pressure like a champ. Even Dana had some encouraging words to share about her and other possible gay fighters in the promotion.
He says, “If you’re an athlete in the UFC and you’re gay, I could care less. You will not be treated any different. I don’t care who you are, whether you’re gay, you’re white or black, this or that. Somebody always has something stupid to say. That’s never gonna change. I just don’t think it’s that big of a deal anymore.”
UFC fighters who are openly gay
The first openly gay fighter to compete in the UFC was Liz Carmouche, currently part of the Bellator roster. She made history in 2013 when she came out of the closet before her bout with Ronda Rousey. Little did Liz know, she broke down the barrier for a whole bunch of gay fighters to follow her trail.
Amanda Nunes is arguably the most famous female MMA fighter that proudly poses as the poster woman for LGBTQ+. Raquel Pennington is another lesbian fighter who is married to UFC strawweight Tecia Torres. Jessica Andrade might just be the second-most famous openly gay Brazilian, right after Nunes.
A few fighters that may have flown under the radar are Viviane Araújo and Germaine de Randemie. The latter announced her pregnancy with her girlfriend on social media last year. De Randemie has faced Amanda Nunes twice in her career.
Germaine de Randamie announces on social media that she is pregnant. She and her girlfriend expecting the child around March '23. https://t.co/Th8RVzPlXy pic.twitter.com/lMiZHKY1Wf
— Marcel Dorff 🇳🇱🇮🇩 (@BigMarcel24) September 20, 2022
In terms of openly gay fighters, there are very few male athletes that have had the courage to come out of the closet. Lightweight Marc Diakiese is the first openly gay fighter in the promotion. The 30-year-old became the first gay fighter to ever pose for a gay magazine in 2017.
Most recently, UFC flyweight Jeff Molina came out as bisexual after an intimate video of him was leaked. While this wasn’t the way the 25-year-old had things planned out for his orientation announcement, he had little to no option but to go with the flow. He even tweeted about the same to help fans understand his situation better.
However, every UFC fighter has different views on the subject. When the heavyweight champion Jon Jones was asked to comment on it at the time, he shared, “I don’t really know what I think about homosexuality and MMA. I’ve never put much thought into it. It’s a very sensitive topic. I’d rather not even comment on it.”
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