UFC releases fighter with alleged Neo Nazi ties

Thursday, September 12, 2013

MMAFighting’s Ariel Helwani is reporting that the UFC has  decided to terminate the contract with recently signed undefeated German welterweight prospect Benjamin “The Hooligan” Brinsa.

Several weeks ago, Cage Potato reported that Brinsa has been repeatedly accused of having ties to neo-Nazi groups. The allegations are various, include:
•Brinsa is or was a member of the Leipzig-based hooligan group Scenario LOK;
•Brinsa’s MMA team, La Familia, has connections to the local Neo-Nazi scene;
•Brinsa used to help run a mail-order service for Neo-Nazi rock music.

Below are google translations of a German language article alleging the LaFamilia fight gym and Benjamin Brinsa have strong neo-Nazi ties.

Violent neo-Nazi “National Boys” train at the martial arts club “LaFamilia” from Halle. Further, the sponsors and fighters from the club are known neo-Nazis.

The most famous of them is Benjamin Brinsa, a fighter who was released by “Respect Fighting Championship” in Essen, because of his right-wing machinations. Brinsa is a member of the right-hooligan group “Scenario LOK” from Leipzig, and posed already behind a banner reading “Ultras LOK – National Resistance.” In addition, Brinsa worked for Thomas Persdorf, a nationally known neo Nazi, operator of the shipment “Front Records”, and director of a company that managed the site “Aryan Brotherhood.” According to information from the Leipzig anti-fascist magazine “gamma” Brinsa is said to have worked as a janitor in the “national center” in Leipzig-Lindenau. Brinsa received a “violence” ban at the stadium in Leipzig. Brinsa and his friend Christopher “Joker” Henze, also a member of the right-hooligan group “Scenario LOK” were received with open arms by LaFamilia and courted as “two powerful new additions” with “aggressive fighting style.”

Another LaFamilia fighter Dave Herald, is member of the “coma column Merseburg,” which advertises its battles on their website. The “coma column Merseburg” is a rightwing club and quite open to people who organize “cultural excursions” and parties for neo-Nazis. Numerous people on the site’s picture page are seen with clear Nazi symbols. Its members include well-known neo-Nazis including Lutz Battke (NPD castle county) and Kevin Stephan (head of camaraderie “action group” Halle / Saale district according to Verfassungsschutzbericht of Saxony-Analt ) and other members of the NPD Saalekreis.

Besides the aforementioned LaFamilia members, others include a number of neo-Nazis who train there for their attacks on other people. These include several people in the “National Boys” (JN) (the NPD youth organization). Among them, Mario Alexander Müller, a student of history and political science and repeatedly convicted neo-Nazi from Delmenhorst. He was recently convicted of an attack on an anti-fascists from Delmenhorst using a homemade weapon.

Rightwing figures associated with LaFamilia are not limited to fighters.One of the ticket sellers and sponsors of LaFamilia “Fight Night” is the Tattoo & Piercing Studio White Skull. There works Florian Jass, a known neo-Nazi.

If the LaFamilia martial arts club is  serious about their slogan “respect – it’s more than just a word,” then it has to prevent it from being a gathering point for neo-Nazis, and separate itself from fighterslike  Benjamin Brinsa, Christopher Henze, Dave Herold and Mario Alexander Müller.

Read entire article... (orginal German language)

Soccer hooliganism is a phenomenon not found in North America, without an exact equivalent. It involves violent and destructive behaviour by members of a supporters of a team. Its origins can be traced back as far as 14th century England, and has since spread widely across Western and Eastern Europe.

Anyone who has worked as a doorman at a nightclub is familiar with the phenomenon of mean drunks who go to the club looking for a fight. This is like that, but there are teams of them, numbering in the dozens or hunderds.

Brinsa freely acknowledges being a former soccer hooligan, but says he has never uttered xenophobic, anti-Semitic or racist sentiments, in public of private.

Brinsa’s publicist released an unequivocal statement, flatly denying the neo Nazi allegations.

It is with great regret that we had to take notice of allegations made against our fighter Benjamin Brinsa by website Cagepotato.com, accusing him of neo-Nazi views and convictions. Benjamin would like to issue a personal statement regarding the matter:

“I am not a neo-Nazi, never have been, never will be. At no time in my life have I ever made any xenophobic, anti-Semitic or racist statements, either in public or in private. Yes, I do have a past as a football hooligan in my youth, but that is a thing of the past as I have been solely focusing on my professional career for the past couple of years.

“My grappling coach and good friend Marcin Bandel hails from Poland and I have friends from all over the world. Next week, I will join a training camp with fighters from Bosnia, Brazil, Greece, Iraq, Italy, Morocco, Poland, Russia and Tunesia – do you think I had any interest in training with all these non- German athletes if I was a neo-Nazi?

“There is just no place for racism and xenophobia in an international, global sport like MMA.”

Brinsa offered a further defense via his Facebook page.

“I’ve been trying to take legal action against the person that has started the smear campaign against me on the internet, but unfortunately to no avail so far as he hides behind synonyms and publishes his defamation on websites with no legal information. For the past two years this guy has been contacting promoters, sponsors, authorities and journalists trying to prevent me from getting fights and trying to destroy my reputation.”

UFC president Dana White promised a thorough investigation.

“We are going to look into it,” said White to Ariel Helwani at the time. “And if he, in any way, shape, or form is involved in racist groups, neonazi groups, or anything negative like that, he’ll be cut. But I don’t want to jump the gun, because some people are tweeting stuff, and jump the gun and ruin this guys life if it’s not true. So we’re going to look into it. I literally have a whole team of lawyers in house looking at it right now in Vegas.”

If Brinsa does indeed have a neo-Nazi tinged past but has turned his life around, he should be given every opportunity to move forward, following of course a full disclosure. If the allegations are entirely false, Brinsa is owed abject apologies by many. If the beliefs and associatons remain, he would be a problematic figure to represent the sport in Germany or anywhere, but particularly in Germany as Mixed Martial Arts remains so controversial there.

However, the team of lawyers has looked through the allegations, and apparently there is enough smoke to fire “The Hooligan.”