If you thought the German media was having kittens over UFC 99 before it happened, check out how they covered the actual show itself:
Editors were texting headlines like “Blood and Circuses” (Berliner Morgenpost), “Cologne Cage Fight Pleases International Mob” (Die Welt) and “Bloodstain on the Canvas” (Süddeutsche Zeitung), and while the majority of coverage surrounding UFC 99 was rather negative, there were a couple of surprisingly well-researched articles written within the past 48 hours.
Spearheading the negative campaign, however, were two television segments by Germany’s biggest private television station, RTL — home of the Klitschko brothers and IBF middleweight champion Arthur Abraham — and the largest broadcast authority of the public sector, WDR.
They listed and focused on the various injuries the fighters allegedly sustained at UFC 99, including facial fractures, cuts and bruised ears. The WDR narrator criticized the supposed lone intention of fighters to beat opponents to a bloody pulp or choke them unconscious and concluded that “the only purpose of this violent show is to generate revenue.”
RTL went even further and stated that the applause from the audience at the arena was the loudest when the fighting was most brutal and that MMA has just enough rules to pass as a sport and still look like a street fight. It also speculated that mixed martial arts might be banned in Germany next year.
That’s not to say the event was universally panned, but I think we can say Europe has a long way to go before they ‘get’ mixed martial arts. Sherdog ties a ton of the hate to talking points fed to the media by various German boxing organizations and individuals. Hey, it’s like it’s 1997 all over again!