It may have been crudely stated, but Joseph Benavidez, a top contender in the UFC's flyweight division, had one of the more colorful statements supporting an openly gay mixed martial artist.
"It would be cool to see a gay guy just beat the shit out of somebody," he told FOX Sports. "I think that would be that much cooler. Busting a stereotype."
Dana White wants UFC fighter to come out
Dana White, president of the Ultimate Fighting Championship, both apologized (again) for his past homophobic comments while encouraging gay fighters to come out.
Fox Sports asked a dozen current and former UFC fighters if they would support an openly gay fighter and there was almost unanimous support. "It's the same as any sport," light heavyweight Phil Davis said. "I don't see why not. I would not think any less of anyone that did so. It has nothing to do with their capabilities inside the cage."
Two fighters -- Jon Jones and Luke Rockhold -- did not say anything negative, but avoided the subject. "I don't really know what I think about homosexuality and MMA," Jones said. "I've never really put much thought into it. It's a very sensitive topic. I'd rather not even comment on it."
I suspect Jones and Rockhold do have a problem with an openly gay fighter, but are staying quiet since outright opposition would leave them open to a lot of criticism. One major sign of progress on this issue is that homophobia in sports is no longer cool, and opponents are learning to just their mouths shut. Jones, interestingly, was involved in a weird incident where he called a hostile fan a "fag" on Instagram, only to claim that his account was hacked.
As for Benavidez, I hope his wish of seeing a gay guy beat the crap out of someone comes true one day soon, since the goal of every fighter who enters the arena is to beat or be beaten.