OA_show('Wallpaper');
OA_show('Leaderboard - Xx90');
Choose your edition:

Search form

The Ultimate Fighting-gay porn dustup

The Ultimate Fighting-gay porn dustup

IMAGE 1 OF 1
The homo-porn “controversy” that promised to be the most fascinating Ultimate Fighter storyline to date was quashed on March 9 during the live-from-Las-Vegas season premiere. The event saw 32 contestants duking it out for 16 spots on the reality show (now in its 15th season). In it, gay-for-pay turned Ultimate Fighter hopeful Dakota Cochrane was defeated (one judge scored in favour of Cochrane; two scored in favour of opponent James Vick).
 
Had Cochrane, 25, won his five-minute elimination round, he would have moved into the Ultimate Fighter House and engaged in a season’s worth of battle, as housemate-rivals compete for the season title – Ultimate Fighter – and a six-figure contract with the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) organization.
 
It was late February, immediately after the contestant roster was announced, that Cochrane’s porn past broke in the world of professional mixed martial arts (MMA) via the MMA blog MiddleEasy.
 
Of course, queer porn/media sites nailed this news back in August 2011 thanks to Tom Bacchus on the Vine (tombacchus.blogspot.ca), which broke the story replete with plenty of footage: rising MMA star Dakota Cochrane is also “Danny,” one of the many XXX stars featured on gay-porn hotspot seancody.com (with 16 videos under his belt).
 
Despite MiddleEasy’s homo-panic approach (“I dare any straight guy to analytically look at gay porn for the sole purpose of finding identifying marks to determine if a gay pornstar is also an MMA fighter,” says writer Zeus, whose “eyes were just traumatized”), the article is pro-Cochrane: “The fact that Dakota Cochrane has done gay porn should not deter you from watching his progression through [Ultimate Fighter 15] . . . In fact, we as a [sic] MMA community should embrace a current/former gay porn star into MMA. It’s time to expand the fanbase of this sport that we all love. We need a guy like Dakota Cochrane in this sport. It’s time for a paradigm shift.” 
 
Indeed. Late last year, Culinary Workers Union Local 226 launched UFC = Unfit for Children – a campaign demanding that the UFC “behave in a socially responsible manner, respect the LGBTQ community and women, and demonstrate a real commitment toward stopping the bullying epidemic in our society” – citing numerous incidences wherein various fighters (Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, Michael Bisping and Joe Rogan, for example) and UFC president Dana White engaged in homophobic slur-hurling. 
 
White quickly dismissed the anti-gay charges, insisting he’s not “a homophobe” and that the majority of his fighters – “300-something” – are stand-up guys. “I’ll tell you right now, if there’s a gay fighter in the UFC, I wish he would come out,” he told MMA Fighting. “I could care less if there’s a gay fighter in the UFC. There probably is, and there’s probably more than one. It’s 2012. Give me a break.”
 
It’s no surprise, then, that Cochrane’s presence in this season’s lineup sparked massive dialogue. While for the most part, MMA critics have responded positively (albeit heavy on homo-panic: It’s okay because he’s straight! There’s no way he’s straight! Has he been tested for HIV? He’s been tested! He’s clean! What will the coaches think? What will the fighters think?), discussion boards have been blitzed with raging homophobia.
 
Cochrane – who discussed his gay-for-pay college days in his UFC audition tape – addressed the media frenzy immediately: “[I]t’s something I did a long time ago,” he told The MMA Show with Mauro Ranallo. “It was a mistake and it was in the past. I’m just trying to move on to bigger and better things now. I’ve dealt with this stuff ever since I did it. I did those movies for the money and people are going to be opinionated, and there’s going to be haters, but those people that actually know me and care about me as a person know it was a mistake.”
 
Cochrane’s insistence on shame/regret is unfortunate – yet it’s precisely what has allowed much of the pro-Cochrane talk. While merit has been a strong focus (Cochrane’s record going into Ultimate Fighter 15 was an impressive 11-2), moralism has been the crux: he made a mistake; he’s acknowledged his mistake; he’s trying to move on from his mistake. (And here, the undercurrents of slippery-slope logic are in full effect: Dakota Cochrane did something wrong; gay porn is something wrong; gay is something wrong.)
 
Cochrane’s presence in Ultimate Fighter 15, though short-lived, has initiated a whole new kind of grappling – with those cultural ideologies that attempt to define and police heterosexual masculinity. It’s a shame that the conversation has been stalled.
 
 
  
Sign in or Register to post comments