MMA is a violent sport so perhaps it is no surprise that fighters are not known for their tolerance and compassion. But the admittedly low bar was lowered even further by Pancrase and UFC veteran Nate Marquardt.

He went on a homophobic rant, comparing homosexuals to paedophiles while quoting the Bible in an ill advised tweet:

Extreme homophobe

Before rebranding himself as an extreme homophobe Marquardt was a successful mixed martial artist. After making his name with Pancrase at the start of the century he was offered a UFC contract.

The 43 year old fought the likes of Genki Sudo, Kazuo Misaki and Ricardo Almeida in Japan and was the middleweight King of Pancrase But Marquardt’s biggest bouts would take place under the UFC banner.

At UFC 73 in 2007 he challenged pound for pound king Anderson Silva for the middleweight title. The Brazilian was unbeatable at the time and Marquardt came up short on that occasion.

Title glory

Five years later he signed for Strikeforce and captured the welterweight title on his debut, beating Tyron Woodley who would go on to win the UFC 170lbs strap. Within a year he was back in the UFC but Marquardt’s best days were clearly behind him by this stage.

He was last seen getting stopped in the second round by Valdir Araujo on an XMMA card. Marquardt appears to have made the remarks in question after becoming upset about a television commercial he saw in which two men were kissing.

Unwelcome change

The drive to promote tolerance towards LGBTQ people has not been embraced by everyone in the MMA community. While there are numerous openly gay female fighters on the UFC roster no high profile male mixed martial artist has ever come out during their career.

Marquardt appears to be standing by his comments despite an online backlash with some of the comments questioning whether he understands the meaning of the word ‘fornication’. But he has inadvertently turned the spotlight on an issue which has become extremely divisive in society as a whole and which many in MMA would rather was swept under the proverbial carpet.