UFC looks to expand to Russia

ESPN staff
September 2, 2013

UFC's colourful president Dana White has said he is keen to set up a show in Russia and claimed he was unaware of the row over the country's new anti-gay legislation which has been widely covered in the media over the last few weeks.

Russia's law prohibits the promotion of "non-traditional" sexual relations. It has been denounced by human rights activists, and the IOC and FIFA have asked for clarification ahead of the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi and the 2018 World Cup.

"We've got to go there first," White said. "We're going to talk to the right people and we're going to figure whether we're going to do this or not."

He said he did not know the date of the visit. Asked about the law and the uproar surrounding it, White said: "No, I know nothing about it."

White apologized in April 2009 for making a gay slur contained in a profanity-laced video blog posted to YouTube in which he lambasted a journalist. Earlier this year, the UFC suspended heavyweight Matt Mitrione for his verbal attack on transgender fighter Fallon Fox.

It also introduced a code of conduct that prohibits "derogatory or offensive conduct" when it comes to "ethnic background, heritage, color, race, national origin, age, religion, disability, gender or sexual orientation".

Material from Associated Press was used in this report

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