It didn't take one of the most memorable scenes in Bruno to confirm what we all get: Mixed martial arts is tinged with homoeroticism.
But Sam Sheridan, author of A Fighter's Heart, argues that conflating the sport with another variety of man-on-man action stems largely from what makes MMA so different from ring sports: The athletes fight even in prone positions.
"When two men fall to the ground, trying to kill each other with their bare hands, the man on the bottom is best served by getting his legs around his opponent's hips, to control him, to limit the damage done by the top man. It looks like the missionary position," Sheridan writes on The Daily Beast. "Believe me, if something else worked better, they would be doing it -- MMA is based on trial-and-error; what works best in a real fight with as few rules as possible. When someone is on top of you, punching you in the face, you try everything."
Sheridan, who has trained in the sport, insists that what we're viewing is absolutely divorced from all sexual chemistry between fighters. But as far as gay fans go? "The more the merrier."
After all, "Dana White, the head of the Ultimate Fighting Championship, welcomed gay athletes, Sheridan writes, and most fighters would agree: Nobody cares about anything but what you can do in the cage. Fighting professionally has always had that beautiful bottom line -- just win."