Is Ultimate Fighting Gay?

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    Nov 03, 2009 9:56 PM GMT
    Is Ultimate Fighting Gay?

    by Thaddeus Russell


     
    The head of the Ultimate Fighting Championship recently became the first head of a major sports league to welcome gay athletes. Thaddeus Russell on the mixed martial arts’ homoerotic appeal.
    I had heard the accusations and innuendo. And just two minutes into the first preliminary fight of last week's Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) event I saw something that confirmed them. I was in a sports bar in the San Gabriel Valley, a predominately working-class suburban area just east of Los Angeles that has produced a disproportionate number of mixed martial-arts (MMA) fighters and is home to some of the sport's most committed fans. Malls in the area are filled with men wearing gothic-inspired MMA t-shirts and baseball hats, and the parking lots often become mock battlegrounds for teenage boys acting out the punches, kicks, and grappling moves of the fastest-growing and what many believe is the most macho sport in the United States.

    Spokesmen for professional boxing, which has seen a large share of its fan base gravitate toward MMA, have been quick to accuse their rivals of promoting gay porn. Boxing promoter Bob Arum described MMA as "guys rolling around like homosexuals on the ground."

    But when Chase Gormley threw Stefan Struve to the mat and mounted him between his legs, a young woman in the corner of the bar yelled "that is so hot!" A minute later, Struve turned the tables with his own throw and mount, then clasped Gormley's head, neck, and shoulder between his legs in what is called a "triangle choke hold." At this point the woman, who was sitting with two quiet and increasingly embarrassed men, moaned lustfully then turned to her companions and told them she was "getting ideas" for things to do with her boyfriend. A man wearing skull-and-bones MMA gear sitting near me slammed down his Bud Lime and shouted at her that she was "ruining the fight."

    I found out later that the two men sitting with the aroused women were among a growing gay MMA fan base. They told me that they were just as turned on by the action as their female friend but contained themselves for fear of retribution from the "hyper-macho" crowd. "She says what we can't when we watch the fights in public," one said.

    Recently, gay bloggers, homophobic critics of MMA, and even straight fans have declared that one of the great appeals of the sport is its homoeroticism. They note the large number of gay men and straight women who have become fans of MMA and attribute it to the appeal of the nearly-naked hard bodies of the fighters and the intimate, often pelvic techniques of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, the favored grappling discipline in the sport.

    Jim Buzinski, the publisher of Outsports.com, a web site devoted to gay sports fans and athletes that has counted NFL Network and ESPN Radio among its advertisers, calls MMA "intrinsically homoerotic." He claims that "while it is impossible to quantify numbers, it's clear that MMA has a gay following." This month, one of the site's most viewed articles was a list of "A Straight Guy's Top MMA Hotties." Spike TV's "Ultimate Fighter" reality series, in which a group of fighters live together in a house and compete for a UFC contract, is especially popular with Outsports readers. Buzinski calls it "the most homoerotic show on TV." Moreover, the site's readers "routinely send us links to what they think are hot MMA fighters, so they clearly pay attention to more than just their skills. [UFC welterweight champion] Georges St. Pierre in tight trunks equals page views."

    And then there's matbattle.com, a website devoted to "helping homosexual grapplers explore and express their fetish in a welcoming environment." The site features movies and photos of gay Judo and Jiu-Jitsu fighters performing what it calls martial-arts "sporno."

    Perhaps acknowledging MMA's pan-sexual appeal, Dana White, the president of the UFC, recently became the first head of a major sports league to welcome gay athletes. “Any guy involved in grappling is the furthest thing from homophobic in the world," White said. "I honestly think it would have no impact whatsoever with not only our fighters or our fan base. The guys in the UFC, everybody is so cool, it’s great sportsmanship, everybody has respect for each other. I honestly, it wouldn’t be a big deal to me and most of the guys I know in this sport, it wouldn’t be a big deal for them either.”

    Not surprisingly, gay-friendliness is far from universal within the sport. UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar issued what ESPN described as "a curse-laden outburst" against homosexuals when a female fan informed him that her friend "Shawn" thought he was cute. "I don't like gays," he announced to reporters. "Write that down in your little notebook. I don't like gays."

    Dana White himself was denounced by gay rights groups for slandering one of his critics as "a pussy and a fucking faggot." He responded quickly with a public
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    Nov 04, 2009 6:26 AM GMT
    Wrestling, bodybuilding, MMA, boxing, ice skating, golf.. any sport can have homoerotic undertones.

    gayjiujitsu0sn.jpg
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    Nov 04, 2009 6:41 AM GMT

    It's not gay...it looks gay.

  • Joeyphx444

    Posts: 2382

    Nov 04, 2009 6:48 AM GMT
    Maybe to gay men it looks gay but to straight guys they don't see that I don't think
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    Nov 04, 2009 6:55 AM GMT
    ^
    When straight guys suck a dick they don't think it's gay.

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    Nov 04, 2009 7:05 AM GMT
    Yea I've read stuff like this before, and its untrue. The sport is only seen as homoerotic to guys who get homoerotic thoughts about the guys lol. Nothing wrong if you do that. In ancient Greece with Pankration the men were made to fight nude, because the male body was seen to be the most beautiful thing. The whole gay thing though.. I just don't feel or see it. I don't see appreciating a man's body as a "gay thing". I'm also saying that as an artist too.

    Its actually more like a lifestyle the sport is. The guys you see out there fighting in front of the crowds, are all men who were born with that "warrior mentality" they call it. If you don't have that, then don't bother getting into the sport, because you won't make it. Its not something that can be taught. I've seen a lot of dudes come into the gym who thought they were about that, but just couldn't handle it. You can always tell lol.

    These guys have a lot of aggression in them, some of them had it directed in the right ways quickly, while some other guys a bit later on but they all have it. Some of these guys come from very rough past. Each of them all realize they have that warrior spirit at some point in their life. It usually happens when they mess around a bit with the training, and always when they win that first fight.

    A large part of the love and wanting to be apart of that lifestyle, is loving all of the hard work you have to go through. Pushing your body to its limits almost feeling super human, because you certainly do especially when you win a fight. You almost feel like a god or something, its very addictive. It feels awesome to test your skills against another man who has done all of the same training. That type of behavior in men is very natural and not something that should be frowned upon or suppressed. It also takes a lot of discipline, class, and believing in something bigger than you, to keep you from walking around behaving like some arrogant dick, knowing of all of the things you can do to someone.. Some guys in it can be so arrogant and low class.

    There are a lot of people out there, who love blood sports. No different from many of the citizens of Rome or even Greece, who love to see real fighting skill against skill, amazed at what the human body can do. Some of them are even inspired to do it as well.

    My brother and I along with my friends have been doing the sport for awhile. It sure as hell doesn't feel homoerotic to me. I don't get turned on by it, doing it or watching it. Sex is not on my mind if I'm being hit in the face, or choked rofl. I just want to be better than the other guy. Hope the fight goes well, meaning nobody is seriously hurt or killed. Also want my team and my family proud of me. I love hearing the crowd, I love hearing my team, especially when I hear my guy shouting to me, to do this or do that, and then hearing my brother as well, very great feeling, even better when my father was alive and I'd hear him too.

    MMA is just a more safer, cleaner, and modern version of Pankration. Which was the ancient fighting style of Greece. Its also not for dummies, there's a lot of thinking involved in it. If you think you're going to just go out there swinging like some sloppy street fighter, then its over for you.

    Yes it is a very macho world, very warrior culture driven sport and lifestyle. Yes there is a lot of profanity and other offensive words used. Doesn't mean gay people are hated. Hell guys on my team know I'm in love with a guy, and none of em care. I also don't go around making it a big deal, because it isn't nor do I get offended by any of the words I hear used around me. To me its no different from the military as far as harshly ragging on each other which is a sign of love. There is also a lot of serious shit talking to get into the other person's head, which can mess up their entire game plan.

    Its not a politically correct soft world, nor should it be. Bullies and mindless assholes don't have a place, or future in the sport though.

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    Nov 04, 2009 7:53 AM GMT
    IGH84A large part of the love and wanting to be apart of that lifestyle, is loving all of the hard work you have to go through. Pushing your body to its limits almost feeling super human, because you certainly do especially when you win a fight. You almost feel like a god or something, its very addictive. It feels awesome to test your skills against another man who has done all of the same training. That type of behavior in men is very natural and not something that should be frowned upon or suppressed.


    I totally agree 100%. It's a sport and NOTHING else. All of the whining and homoerotic talk is part of a culture of people who may or may not have had the thoughts themselves. I just feel like it should be treated as a sport and not tagged or pooled along with senseless talk!!!! I like MMA and I watch UFC often, and it doesn't turn me on because I appreciate it as a sport and as a test of combined skill. long-term intense training, mind and body capability, drive, will, strength, and dedication. I say to ANYONE who thinks it's gay, that sports were not invented to create sexualty issues so leave it alone. I also want to say that it is very true in any sport that part of the value is the ability to do hard work and push your body to higher limits.
  • Tiller66

    Posts: 380

    Nov 04, 2009 9:28 AM GMT
    I don't think that UFC/MMA is gay at all but I do know alot of gay fans of the sport.And for the most part those fans are not ones that just think about how hott looking a fighter is.I will say for myself I do find most of the fighters hott b/c they are good examples of what I find attractive in men in general,but once the fight starts it's all about the action for me.I'm not one that gets into all the blood but I do like seeing all of the moves that they do to win a fight.But after saying all of that if I had a chance to give a fighter a nice relaxing "rub down" I would'nt say no.I do like hearing that most are accepting of gays in the sport and anyone in it would have to be secure in they'er own manhood to even think about being in the sport.
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    Nov 04, 2009 10:18 AM GMT
    Is it gay? No. Is it barbaric? Yes. I went through this phase when I was younger, which was fueled by my experiences in the military, but I grew out of it. Wrestling and Jiu-Jitsu are great sports. Ultimate fighting is not. I'm against boxing as well.

    I am all for self defense, but how could anyone condone/endorse a "sport" that promotes two men pummeling the shit out of each other?
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    Nov 04, 2009 10:41 AM GMT
    Tapper saidIs it gay? No. Is it barbaric? Yes. I went through this phase when I was younger, which was fueled by my experiences in the military, but I grew out of it. Wrestling and Jiu-Jitsu are great sports. Ultimate fighting is not. I'm against boxing as well.

    I am all for self defense, but how could anyone condone/endorse a "sport" that promotes two men pummeling the shit out of each other?


    I wouldn't say barbaric. It was when it first started up, in fact it was complete shit the UFC. It was changed around when Dana White got a hold of it, he made it more classy. Guys who behave like mindless barbarians though don't make it in the sport, they are always booted out. MMA didn't really catch on until the late 90's though. A lot of people didn't know they were even doing it. The whole idea behind the UFC when it started, was to see which fighting style was more superior in a real fight with no rules. It was an anything goes kind of thing and it was very very shitty lol. Today its more like the Greek Pankration, and because of the popularity of MMA, they are talking about bringing Pankration back into the Olympics. It is also now legal in more states too.

    Wrestling, and jiu-jitsu are very much apart of the sport of MMA. The sport is not all about pummeling the shit out of each other. I've had many fights where I never punched the guy, just took him down and made him submit.

    Its also actually safer than boxing. In boxing you're constantly getting bashed in the head, there is even a lot of head trauma in Football as well. There isn't too much of that in MMA, a lot of it has to do with take downs, and submissions, and body shots. The men who train hard and right, and are conditioned the right way, don't walk away with the head injuries you see in boxers and even football players.

    I grew up doing wrestling, boxing, jiu-jitsu. Wrestled in HS, and in the military, and then just fell in love even more with MMA. I love using all of the skills I've learned, along with all of the conditioning training I do, all together against someone else. Testing all of those skills against another guy is what the sport of MMA is about.

    When I'm no longer able to fight, I want to be a full time trainer like my dad was.

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    Nov 04, 2009 10:52 AM GMT
    IHG84 said
    Tapper saidIs it gay? No. Is it barbaric? Yes. I went through this phase when I was younger, which was fueled by my experiences in the military, but I grew out of it. Wrestling and Jiu-Jitsu are great sports. Ultimate fighting is not. I'm against boxing as well.

    I am all for self defense, but how could anyone condone/endorse a "sport" that promotes two men pummeling the shit out of each other?


    I wouldn't say barbaric. It was when it first started up, in fact it was complete shit the UFC. It was changed around when Dana White got a hold of it, he made it more classy. Guys who behave like mindless barbarians though don't make it in the sport, they are always booted out. MMA didn't really catch on until the late 90's though. A lot of people didn't know they were even doing it. The whole idea behind the UFC when it started, was to see which fighting style was more superior in a real fight with no rules. It was an anything goes kind of thing and it was very very shitty lol.

    Wrestling, and jiu-jitsu are very much apart of the sport of MMA. The sport is not all about pummeling the shit out of each other. I've had many fights where I never punched the guy, just took him down and made him submit.

    Its also actually safer than boxing. In boxing you're constantly getting bashed in the head, there is even a lot of head trauma in Football as well. There isn't too much of that in MMA, a lot of it has to do with take downs, and submissions, and body shots.

    I grew up doing wrestling, boxing, jiu-jitsu. Wrestled in HS, and in the military, and then just fell in love even more with MMA. I love using all of the skills I've learned, along with all of the conditioning training I do, all together against someone else. Testing all of those skills against another guy is what the sport of MMA is about.

    When I'm no longer able to fight, I want to be a full time trainer like my dad was.



    This is great feedback, thank you. I hadn't thought about the benefits as they relate to conditioning and stamina, but you have a good point. If monitored, it's likely safer than boxing. I still think Jiu-Jitsu's the way to go, and would love to be able to begin taking J-J classes ... but don't think I can do it with my bad back.
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    Nov 04, 2009 10:55 AM GMT
    GuiltyGear said^
    When straight guys suck a dick they don't think it's gay.



    When straight guys GET their dick sucked its not gay. lol
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    Nov 04, 2009 10:56 AM GMT
    Tapper said
    IHG84 said
    Tapper saidIs it gay? No. Is it barbaric? Yes. I went through this phase when I was younger, which was fueled by my experiences in the military, but I grew out of it. Wrestling and Jiu-Jitsu are great sports. Ultimate fighting is not. I'm against boxing as well.

    I am all for self defense, but how could anyone condone/endorse a "sport" that promotes two men pummeling the shit out of each other?


    I wouldn't say barbaric. It was when it first started up, in fact it was complete shit the UFC. It was changed around when Dana White got a hold of it, he made it more classy. Guys who behave like mindless barbarians though don't make it in the sport, they are always booted out. MMA didn't really catch on until the late 90's though. A lot of people didn't know they were even doing it. The whole idea behind the UFC when it started, was to see which fighting style was more superior in a real fight with no rules. It was an anything goes kind of thing and it was very very shitty lol. Today its more like the Greek Pankration, and because of the popularity of MMA, they are talking about bringing Pankration back into the Olympics. It is also now legal in more states too.

    Wrestling, and jiu-jitsu are very much apart of the sport of MMA. The sport is not all about pummeling the shit out of each other. I've had many fights where I never punched the guy, just took him down and made him submit.

    Its also actually safer than boxing. In boxing you're constantly getting bashed in the head, there is even a lot of head trauma in Football as well. There isn't too much of that in MMA, a lot of it has to do with take downs, and submissions, and body shots.

    I grew up doing wrestling, boxing, jiu-jitsu. Wrestled in HS, and in the military, and then just fell in love even more with MMA. I love using all of the skills I've learned, along with all of the conditioning training I do, all together against someone else. Testing all of those skills against another guy is what the sport of MMA is about.

    When I'm no longer able to fight, I want to be a full time trainer like my dad was.



    This is great feedback, thank you. I hadn't thought about the benefits as they relate to conditioning and stamina, but you have a good point. If monitored, it's likely safer than boxing. I still think Jiu-Jitsu's the way to go, and would love to be able to begin taking J-J classes ... but don't think I can do it with my bad back.


    Oh I LOVE Jiu-Jitsu, and its a must have in MMA, you mix that with Wrestling and you're just completely dangerous on the ground. Nobody will want to be on the ground with you, they get scared and want to keep the fight completely stand up rofl.
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    Nov 04, 2009 11:07 AM GMT
    Photobucket

    One of my heroes, and the king of the octagon! icon_biggrin.gif

    My friend's gonna get mad if he sees this. icon_lol.gif
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    Nov 04, 2009 12:15 PM GMT
    Nah, not gay.... but definitely homoerotic.
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    Nov 04, 2009 1:00 PM GMT
    First, thanks GymBoyNY for posting this. you inspired me to do a little research and post a blog about this on my myspace.

    When looking up that Dana White quote to validate it (It seems credible) I found this article, unfortunately, everywhere I see a link to the video blog, it was taken down. Would like to see the vid if anyone knows where I can find it

    http://outsports.com/jocktalkblog/2009/05/25/dana-white-ufc-would-embrace-gay-fighter/

    And here Dana White talks with The Advocate to apologize for using the word "faggot", and seems supportive of gays in general.

    http://www.advocate.com/Arts_and_Entertainment/Entertainment_News/UFC__39;s_Dana_White_Swears_He__39;s_Got_Your_Back/

    And in the process of researching Dana White's view of homosexuality, I stumbled upon openly gay MMA fighter Shad Smith- here is a totally legit New York Times interview:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/23/magazine/23martial-t.html

    So, yeah... MMA is not gay- but apparently things are opening up for us in the sport.
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    Nov 04, 2009 1:13 PM GMT
    Its just as gay as swimming or Polo.. or horse racing derby... some people are turned on by the skin tight pants and leather boots Jockey's wear mounted on a horse. Also fencing, rugby.. are sports with a homoerotic appeal. Well the oldest sports in the world were performed naked... wrestling and fighting have been around for centuries.. MMA is just a modern day version of it. I think its ridiculous that they don't wear the short sq cuts or speedos in MMA competitions anymore - because of the fear of being labeled as a "gay" sport and wear these disgusting long ugly board shorts.
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    Nov 04, 2009 8:41 PM GMT
    Jetsetter99 saidIts just as gay as swimming or Polo.. or horse racing derby... some people are turned on by the skin tight pants and leather boots Jockey's wear mounted on a horse. Also fencing, rugby.. are sports with a homoerotic appeal. Well the oldest sports in the world were performed naked... wrestling and fighting have been around for centuries.. MMA is just a modern day version of it. I think its ridiculous that they don't wear the short sq cuts or speedos in MMA competitions anymore - because of the fear of being labeled as a "gay" sport and wear these disgusting long ugly board shorts.


    That is not why they wear the board shorts ROFL.

    The board shorts are worn because they are able to show their sponsors more, they get paid for that too you know. Then most of them have their own clothing line, and gyms they pretty much show off on the shorts.

    Some guys still wear the short trunks, depending on who they are fighting. The short trunks make them feel faster, or their kicks higher.
  • SoDakGuy

    Posts: 1862

    Nov 04, 2009 8:44 PM GMT
    I love the sport! And the skills used does come in handy from time to time.

  • Celticmusl

    Posts: 4330

    Nov 04, 2009 8:58 PM GMT
    The only straight guys I personally know from the office, or from the gym, that are into watching this sport completely check me out up and down every time we say hi and chat. I actually get a little uncomfortable it's so obvious. This one guy who is a marine almost gets whiplash by checking out all the guys asses while we are talking. At first I didn't know what he was looking at but after a few months realized he was an ass man. Yeah I guess on the planet Mars it's ok for a "straight" guy to appreciate a man's muscular beauty....on earth it's called being gay.

    I'm not even going to tell you what happened at the office with a straight married guy that reads "Men's Health" cover to cover, and is into Ultimate Fighting.
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    Nov 04, 2009 8:59 PM GMT
    bryanhard saidFirst, thanks GymBoyNY for posting this. you inspired me to do a little research and post a blog about this on my myspace.

    When looking up that Dana White quote to validate it (It seems credible) I found this article, unfortunately, everywhere I see a link to the video blog, it was taken down. Would like to see the vid if anyone knows where I can find it

    http://outsports.com/jocktalkblog/2009/05/25/dana-white-ufc-would-embrace-gay-fighter/

    And here Dana White talks with The Advocate to apologize for using the word "faggot", and seems supportive of gays in general.

    http://www.advocate.com/Arts_and_Entertainment/Entertainment_News/UFC__39;s_Dana_White_Swears_He__39;s_Got_Your_Back/

    And in the process of researching Dana White's view of homosexuality, I stumbled upon openly gay MMA fighter Shad Smith- here is a totally legit New York Times interview:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/23/magazine/23martial-t.html

    So, yeah... MMA is not gay- but apparently things are opening up for us in the sport.


    Yea I remember seeing Dana White apologize and all, but he hates all of that PC crap. There's a lot of words used like that by him, he did come from the streets and all. That word gets thrown around so many times in the training facility in Vegas, and you won't be kicked out for that. Not everyone in the sport uses words like that though. There are a ton of religious dudes in the sport who won't go around talking like that, and don't like that type of talk, but they don't bitch about it though.

    MMA's always been opened up to any and everyone who was or is serious about that sport and lifestyle. The sexuality doesn't matter, just depends on the man perusing it. There just aren't too many gay people in the sport though. There also weren't too many black guys in it at first for awhile.

    That Shad Smith guy well... He's not all that great a guy, him being gay doesn't matter, he's just not too cool of a person. I remember him in Felony fights.. Those guys give such a bad name to the sport. He's kind of more like a street fighter type.. All of em were or are in prison too lmfao. I actually haven't seen him in any more fights. I think the last time I saw him was on WEC, and he got beat pretty bad.

    The most interesting fighter in the sport so far, is the Deaf guy Matt Hamill. He can't hear his corner, definitely can't look for sign because he could get knocked out rofl. But he's just so damn amazing.
  • SoDakGuy

    Posts: 1862

    Nov 04, 2009 8:59 PM GMT
    Actually, you just did. icon_twisted.gif

    Celticmusl said I'm not even going to tell you what happened at the office with a straight married guy that reads "Men's Health" cover to cover, and is into Ultimate Fighting.
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    Nov 04, 2009 9:03 PM GMT
    Celticmusl saidThe only straight guys I personally know from the office, or from the gym, that are into watching this sport completely check me out up and down every time we say hi and chat. I actually get a little uncomfortable it's so obvious. This one guy who is a marine almost gets whiplash by checking out all the guys asses while we are talking. At first I didn't know what he was looking at but after a few months realized he was an ass man. Yeah I guess on the planet Mars it's ok for a "straight" guy to appreciate a man's muscular beauty....on earth it's called being gay.

    I'm not even going to tell you what happened at the office with a straight married guy that reads "Men's Health" cover to cover, and is into Ultimate Fighting.



    ROFL They aint straight.. They're on the down low lol.

    There are a lot of straight guys who do appreciate a guy's body. I don't mean in the way of checking him out and getting a boner over it. Artist don't get all turned on by that stuff, its just art.. Some guys admire it and want to be just like that and respect the skill and power along with it. Some guys are afraid to come out and say that, because they are afraid of being hit with the whole gay label.

    And nothing's wrong with Men's Health I have those too lol
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    Nov 04, 2009 9:06 PM GMT
    IHG84 saidPhotobucket

    One of my heroes, and the king of the octagon! icon_biggrin.gif

    My friend's gonna get mad if he sees this. icon_lol.gif


    Mmmm... Love me some Matt Hughes. I mean, uh, yeah... it's not gay.

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    Nov 04, 2009 9:20 PM GMT
    Ganymede0 said
    IHG84 saidPhotobucket

    One of my heroes, and the king of the octagon! icon_biggrin.gif

    My friend's gonna get mad if he sees this. icon_lol.gif


    Mmmm... Love me some Matt Hughes. I mean, uh, yeah... it's not gay.



    lol its ok to be gay for Matt, he's just that awesome. lmfao