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KSW pulls Nazi out of lightweight title fight

I dunno how Fightlinker became your MMA news source for all things nazi. It all started when ProElite booked that dude with the swastika tattoo and then kinda snowballed from there. There was the M-1 nazi, the nazi clothing company that got into the UFC, the Silver Star totenkopf, and that wacky time Matt Hughes signed a white supremacist shirt.

It’d be nice to say these are strange aberrations and maybe they are in North America. But in Russia and Europe there seems to be a growing connection between neo-nazi groups and MMA. In the past three months I’ve stumbled upon two small organizations that appear to have a serious fascist bent to them. At least some of the larger promotions are starting to realize this shit shouldn’t fly:

Just days after announcing that Finland lightweight Niko Puhakka would be fighting Artur Sowinski for the vacant lightweight title, Polish organisation KSW has pulled him from the bout.

The move was made after fan outcry over Puhakka’s tattoos and political leanings. He has a tattoo of the Nazi slogan ‘Blood and Honour’ on his chest; that phrase was the philosophy behind Nazi government laws against inter-racial marriages.

KSW released a statement to Fighters Only in which it expressly stated that Puhakka’s removal came after a negative response from fans around the world. Poland also suffered heavily under Nazi aggression and the  country bears numerous scars from the World War Two era.

The statement reads:

In connection with controversy surrounding Niko Puhakka, KSW Federation decided to cancel his participation in the upcoming KSW 18 event scheduled for February 25th in Plock. The decision is associated with the respect our federation has for public opinion as well as the belief that personal views and ethical standards are equally important as sporting excitement.

KSW Federation never was and will never be an institution promoting any kind of political, religious or social beliefs. We are a sporting organization, which chooses its fighters solely on a basis of their athletic accomplishments. Our goal is to confront skills, records and names not fighter’s views.

However, the amount of negative feedback we received regarding the above- mentioned fighter forced us to exclude him from the competition. Niko Puhakka’s removal from the fight card does not mean that Artur Sowinski’s participation in KSW 18 will also be cancelled.

Puhakka had fought on two previous KSW cards without any uproar, so I dunno if we should be impressed with this move or unimpressed that it took so long. Or are you the kind of person who says leave people with different views and backgrounds alone? Because the nazis have such a great track record of doing that.

  • thingvolds

    he should have those tats covered up with “brown pride” tats and he’ll be good to go. might even become the promotions poster boy

  • SkippyKid

    I find stuff like that incredibly offensive and I’m glad they aren’t letting him fight for them.

    Any open hate like that is ridiculously trashy.

  • Letibleu

    … but can he fight?

  • DJ ThunderElbows

    I have to agree with Trolds for once, since the Polish are probably over the Alamo by now.

    Personally, I think he should be allowed to fight.  I would enjoy seeing a Nazi get beat up, and he’d be a great villain if he wins.

  • kwagnuth

    Is there a racist organization that uses the term Brown Pride? If so did were they responsible for a Holocaust. Whining about Brown pride is fuckin rediculous.

  • DJ ThunderElbows


  • Letibleu

    What holocaust??? Ahmadinejad told me it was made up.

  • Oontyex

    im not sure its a free speech issue;

    he’s free to be open about how he hates certain races, but at the same time, potential employers dont have to pretend they dont see/ hear his opinions, and are free to choose if they do/ dont want to associate with it.

    my only issue, is that racial pride for races other than white, is held up as a positive view, regardless of which colour it is, being ‘proud’ of your pigment / the accomplishments of others who happen to have a tiny fraction of a percent more DNA similar to you than others, is just silly

    also, yeh, dont hire the guy as a motivational speaker who speaks to kids, but, the guy isnt asking to be payed for his world views – his skills being payed for is fighting ability. i dont see anyone would care about the personal views of someone who that wattch to be entertained by

  • iamphoenix

    ^This isn’t any different than any other fucking job bro. You got tattoo’s that are racist or gang related don’t count on getting the job, especially when your job requires you to not wear a shirt.

    You can’t expect to get work when you screwed yourself by getting that kind of tattoo.

    I don’t see a correlation to some bum fighter with a stupid nazi tattoo to the retarded American political system. I’m sorry, but I’m gonna have to give you a big fat F for your comment essay broooooo

  • Grappo

    Nobody here wants to stand up for freedom of speach and/or expression? Seriously?

    KSW is a Polish promotion.  Based on Polish hate speech law, it seems like even having those tattoos could be illegal. –

    but from the article it sounds like he chose two words that are associated with Nazism, and that choice now makes him unemployable.

    Blood and Honour, the Life Rune on his right pec, the Totenkopf on his left shoulder… this is hardcore neo-nazi shit.  The spiderwebbed elbows, while not always related to white power, you can be sure it is in this case.  The rest are probably significant hate icons as well, I’m just not well-versed enough in the subject to identify them.

    Even if he was a believing, faithful follower of Hitler, Himmler and the rest of that gang of criminals, it still should not disqualify him from plying his trade and earning a living.

    So they should have to employ him… because why?  KSW is a business, and Puhakka was bad for business.  I just can’t believe it took them this long to shitcan him, considering what a touchy subject it is over there… you know what with the 6 million Polish deaths in WWII, and the extermination of 90% of their Jewish population.

    He chose to put his stupid ideals on his body, and potential employers can choose to not hire him because of that.



    also, yeh, dont hire the guy as a motivational speaker who speaks to kids, but, the guy isnt asking to be payed for his world views – his skills being payed for is fighting ability. i dont see anyone would care about the personal views of someone who that wattch to be entertained by

    I don’t want to pay money to go to or watch a card he’s on because I’m effectively putting money in his pocket.  A lot of people probably felt the same way.  The entertainment he provides me doesn’t override the contempt I feel whenever I look at him.

  • DJ ThunderElbows

    KSW’s homeland was taken over by the Nazi regime and was home to half a dozen Extermination camps (including Auschwitz), as well as many concentration and labor camps.  So we’re talking about people who grew up hearing gramma and grampa talking about this period of horror.  It’s intimately ingrained in their culture, faaaaaar more than our own.

    While I would love to see him fight as I think his personal beliefs and the associated drama would be hella exciting, I have no beef with them choosing not to hire him.  It’s their choice who they want representing them in the Ring.  He can get a job somewhere else.

  • Blackula Jonez

    Pretty much what phoenix said.

    Get a bunch of crazy tats and start a profession where your shirt is off when you get to work.

    Expect some employers to take issue with it eventually. Even if they had no problem with it before as soon as the media gets ahold of it don’t act surprised when you are suddenly shit canned.

    Moral of the story: Get the most innocuous and monotonous tattoos possible.

  • Khzarn

    The “M-1 Nazi” is actually Puhakka’s teammate Toni Valtonen. Also, I believe Puhakka was sponsored by that nazi clothing company Hoelzer Reich. It’s no secret that the MMA scene in Finland was basically started by neo-nazis punching each other in face. It isn’t a recent development, more like a thing of the past.

    Valtonen has gotten new ink to cover up some the crazier tats he had, and has publicly stated that the nazi thing was an error of youth. M-1 didn’t care about his political views, just his tats showing up in broadcast. Puhakka has been fighting professionally for 10 years and really hasn’t been put on the spot about this until now. Let’s see how he deals with it.

  • Fizzy

    “You can’t set the precedent that some beliefs are “off limits” and holding them means you can’t be a full member of society.”

    Yes. Yes you can. Especially when it comes to affiliating with neo-nazism in eastern Europe.

  • noiseless

    will you guise like me if i say that i find nazis incredibly offensive? i’ll wait..

  • dick

    I definitely support holocaust denial being illegal, even though I do not think that simply having racist beliefs should be illegal. If that makes sense. Holocaust denial is directly setting the stage for another holocaust, whereas simple racism is essentially present, however obfuscated, at all levels of society.

    if the guy is an actual card-carrying neo-nazi, then KSW has no obligation to promote him, as their mission is best served by keeping themselves in business. However, as a person of Jewish ethnicity and upbringing, who has personally gone to Poland and seen the death camps and the general devastation wrought by the Nazis and decades of communism, and who finds neo-Nazism extremely distasteful to say the least, I would still let Puhakka fight if I was a promoter and the choice wouldn’t singlehandedly drive me out of business. Denying this guy a job because of his politics would essentially bring me down to the Nazis’ level.

    I have always found it hilarious that it’s generally accepted for any race to express racial pride except for whites, but it’s also clearly true that the Nazis take it beyond that level into unacceptable territory.

  • Jarman

    having puhakka fight for the title sounds as if it very well may have been a decision on the order of crippling their business. for a regional promotion to receive an outpouring of reaction just to signing him to a title fight…..well, if regionals there are anything like regionals here, they run a very difficult balance of staying alive.

    decrying this as an infringement of free speech from across the planet is all well and good. especially considering the FBI appears to be prosecuting political activists in the US…..but there’s simply no parallel stateside to what happened as a result of the Nazi policies. The very tenets of Naziism that neo-nazis cling to are the very worst parts of it. I’ve got no problem with these people being told in no uncertain terms that there is no place in any aspect of the modern world where that garbage is acceptable. It’s worse than steroid use, you will never live down such an open and permanent allegiance to such an ideal. You might reform as a cheater, but no one will every believe you just gave up hate and a sense of genetic superiority because people pointed out you suck as a human, and you missed a title fight.

  • Grappo

    Dick, appearing all well-thought-out and logical, then going off the rails.  After the ‘falling cow’ story (the comments after the story, really) I’m starting to think it’s a tendency. 

    Denying this guy a job because of his politics would essentially bring me down to the Nazis’ level.

    Godwin’s law in effect in a discussion about Neo-Nazism!  I think I should be impressed.

  • dick

    Does Godwin’s law apply to articles with the word “Nazi” in the title? I think there should be some kind of exemption here.

    I really believe all of this stuff, and I don’t see what’s so “off the rails” about it. There have been lots of times even in American history when people couldn’t get jobs unless they were registered as belonging to certain parties or otherwise had certain beliefs. That’s why we have civil service tests now. And I don’t think I need to go into what a black eye on American history McCarthyism was. Fundamentally, this is no different. I recognize that an independent corporation has to look out for its public image, but if I was a promoter, I would do my very best not to discriminate against anyone for perceived political affiliation.

  • glassjawsh

    toomanee words

  • iamphoenix

    toomanee words x3

  • CAP

  • mmaddict89

    at least he doesn’t have a tattoo that says “i have a small penis”

  • Letibleu

    dick fail :(

  • Kaed

    I’m out of lauege here. Too much brain power on display!

  • wyhftrig

    yJVsDp viknucqirhnl