(Don’t do it, Paul! Think of all the impressionable German children! Photo courtesy of Fight Magazine.)
Those wacky Germans are at it again, Potato Nation. It wasn’t enough that the UFC had to put up with all manor of ill-informed, reactionary nonsense when they held their first event in Germany last summer. Oh, no. Now they’ve been banned from German TV for the “unacceptable” level of violence in their broadcasts. Since the UFC has been broadcasting on German sports television channel DSF for roughly a year, it seems odd that they’d be banned only now, especially when their programming is completely unchanged. That’s pretty much the exact position of UFC UK president Marshall Zelaznik, who told Sherdog.com:
“The Bavarian state office for new media has approved UFC programming on DSF twice on separate occasions in the past,” said Zelaznik. “That is why we deem the sudden ban unusual as the content of our programming has not changed. We have also had a commission for youth protection in the media review the situation and they deemed the broadcast legal if televised after 11 p.m.”
So what’s Germany’s problem with MMA, you ask? Well, aside from a vague belief that it will somehow damage the minds of their youth, they also seem really hung up on the whole ‘hitting a man when he’s down’ thing. In its statement explaining the UFC ban, the BLM (which, in German, apparently stands for Bavarian state office for new media) cited certain “breach of taboos” such as “punching a downed opponent.” Also, remember that article from Der Spiegel describing the Brock Lesnar-Randy Couture bout:
Lesnar puts his full weight behind the blow, hitting Couture on his left ear and knocking him to the ground. The ensuing scene is something that raises doubts about Ultimate Fighting’s right to exist.
Lesnar pounces on Couture, kneels over him and starts punching him in the head, doling out 17 blows in a seemingly endless 10 seconds, until the referee finally intervenes. After three minutes and seven seconds, Lesnar wins the fight by technical knockout. He climbs up onto the fence to reap his applause as the new world champion, but the audience boos him instead. Couture is lying on the floor, motionless, looking dead.
Seventeen blows to the head in 10 seconds, blows coming from a barely padded fist — it sounds brutal. In fact, it is brutal, and it raises the question of whether Ultimate Fighting is a sport or simply assault.
Okay, this is where we have to issue Deutschland a collective, C’mon Son! So it’s cool to hit someone in the face when he’s standing up, but once he’s on the ground it becomes assault? I suppose when people get into physical altercations in Germany they cordially wait for a fallen opponent to get back to his feet before they resume beating on him.
Look, fighting on the ground is part of fighting. It’s not going to have some black magic effect on the brains of your citizenry. If they can see a standing person punched in the face without completely disregarding their own ethical code, they can probably deal with seeing Lesnar unload some of his patented masturbation punches on Couture without rioting in the streets. You already have soccer games to facilitate that behavior.