NEW YORK NY - JANUARY 13: Dana White UFC President looks on during a press conference to announce commitment to bring UFC to Madison Square Garden and New York State at Madison Square Garden on January 13 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Michael Cohen/Getty Images)
If you're gay and you fight in the UFC, Dana White doesn't care.
In fact, the promotion president was kind of hoping you would come out of the closet. Just don't expect to be Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira's grappling partner if you do.
That's because "Minotauro" told UOL Esporte he won't train with gay fighters, because he doesn't want to get felt up by another man if they decide to take advantage of the situation.
Big Nog's sentiment came under fire from the Las Vegas chapter of the Culinary Union, who accused Zuffa of being an anti-gay organization.
White told reporters during yesterday's UFC 137 press conference (via USA Today) that not only is his fight promoton not anti-gay, but that he wants any gay fighters under his employ to make their presence known.
"The thing that Nogueira said down in Brazil, you know? And I'll tell you right now, if there was a gay fighter in UFC, I wish he would come out. I could care less if there's a gay fighter in the UFC. There probably is and there's probably more than one. I mean, it's 2012. Give me a break. But you're going to have guys like Nogueira who come from Brazil, who's got that macho, Latino -- doesn't want to roll with a gay guy. People are going to say stuff like this. But that's the best answer I can give you is, give me a (freaking) break and be honest. Come on. We're all human beings. We all make mistakes sometimes. It doesn't mean that the UFC is bad and we're unfit for children and all this other stuff. Tell you what: Out of the 375 guys, we've got a few lunatics; some guys that are nutty; and then we've got 300 and something that are incredible, awesome human beings who are inspirational to kids and adults and whoever else is a human being."
This is the UFC in 2012. And like White said, they have guys that are lunatics, nutty and awesome. And he's probably got some that are gay, too.
But is coming out of the closet really the best idea, considering the demographic mixed martial arts appeals to? And peer acceptance could be difficult, Nogueira's comments aside, because of the cliques that exist in training camps, the front office and beyond.
Anyone favor a don't ask, don't tell policy? Or is this one stone better left unturned?
Can of worms, you are officially opened.