Why ‘Warrior’ Isn’t That Kind of Girl

Middlesbrough, Teesside, one of the last steel-making towns in the UK or in fact one of the last places in the UK where they still make anything, is probably the right place to go and see, as I did last week, Warrior, the recently-released, much-hyped MMA Rocky remake set in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Warrior is essentially a bromantic MMA Rocky. This time there are two Rockies: Joel Edgerton and Tom Hardy, playing actual brothers (rather than ‘bros’) forced to fight one another. Both Rockies are considerably […]

Fight Club: How Gay is MMA?

Mark Simpson attends an epic UFC event and finds himself turned on to the charms of ‘gay porn for straight men’ (Originally appeared in Out magazine, June 2008) IMAGINE THE SPACE SHUTTLE taking off with a really fat customized exhaust pipe. Or Visigoths sacking Ancient Rome with kicking bass tubes fitted to their 4-by-4s. Or 20,000 supercharged male orgasms. Simultaneously. And you have some idea what it sounds and feels like in Montreal’s famous Bell Centre tonight for Ultimate Fighting Championship 83, as a spunky […]

Little Britain Touches Up Uncle Sam

By Mark Simpson (Guardian, 20 October, 2008) ‘What other culture could have produced someone like Ernest Hemingway,’ waspish bisexual American exile Gore Vidal once asked of America’s favourite so-butch-he’s-camp writer, ‘and not seen the joke?’. The answer, was, of course, that only a culture that couldn’t see the joke could produce a Hemingway. I don’t know whether Matt Lucas and David Walliams read Vidal or Hemingway, but in Little Britain USA, the recently launched HBO spin-off of their hit UK TV comedy sketch series (which […]

Ultimate Fighting Championship

When it comes to mainstream or traditional sports the US is, compared to Europe, South America and Australia, somewhat resistant to Sporno – rather coy about strutting its stuff. Nonetheless, the US is home to specialist, completely non-coy S&M Sporno. Say hello to Ultimate Fighting/Mixed Martial Arts, a new – and ferociously violent – sport from the USA in which two hyper-fit pleasingly muscled young men in Speedos grapple in a cage in positions that Chi Chi La Rue might blush at. Though in Ultimate […]