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.