In America, violence is fine but nudity makes Baby Jesus cry. In Germany, it’s the other way around: who gives a fuck about tits and cock, but the only blood allowed is the stuff that goes into the Blutwurts. That sums up the UFC’s problem with Germany perfectly, but for specifics we go now to Bloody Elbow’s latest addition to their Menudo-like blogging roster, Jonathan Snowden:
After drawing a meager crowd of just 12,854 for their German debut at UFC 99 in Cologne (in an arena that seats from 18,500-20,000 depending on the setup) the event was subsequently lambasted in the German media. A crusading politician named Norbert Schneider sought to get the sport banned on German television. With allies in the boxing and professional wrestling communities, he succeeded. Despite an 11 PM timeslot, the sport was deemed unfit for public consumption. DSF was forced to pull all UFC programming after the Bavarian state office for new media used a “human dignity” law to justify overruling the ratings board who decided MMA was in good company with porn ads and other late night fare.
The Germans are crazy about human dignity – it’s the very first thing mentioned in their constitution, which I guess is understandable after things got a bit nutty and they kinda re-popularized slaughtering people like animals back in the 40’s. §131StGB ‘prohibits the depiction of cruelty against humans in an approving way’ and Bavaria’s state constitution also specifically prohibits the glorification of violence, which is what the UFC was banned from German TV under.
All this isn’t stopping the UFC from trying to break into the country. Germany is the biggest and richest country in the European Union, so fuck walking away from that. They’re working to overturn the TV ban and will return to the Vaterland in November for another kick at the live show can. While they may not expect to get the best treatment from the press, at least there are still some perks to being in Europe as Rich Franklin shares after the jump:
DEIBERT: What’s the best practical joke you’ve played in the locker room or the best one someone’s played on you?
FRANKLIN: That’s all we do. I could go on for days. But since you brought up locker rooms, one of the most shocking moments I’ve ever had in the locker room was when I fought in Germany. The sauna in Germany is co-ed naked. The showers are co-ed naked. I was cutting weight. I walk out of the steam room one day, cutting weight, and there’s three girls standing there naked, showering. And I’m trying to play it cool, like that’s just normal for you because it’s normal for them. They’re like ‘Hello.’ You’re trying not to stare, like they’re just one of the guys and you’re not going to stare at them. That was a pretty weird thing to walk out on. We knew, they told us, about the co-ed naked locker rooms. It said on the sign: do not get in the sauna with clothing on. We’re cutting weight, didn’t really see the girls. Then one day, bam! They’re standing there. I was like, ‘Holy crap.’ (laughs)
(picture of the UFC 99 crowd via Fighters Only)