UFC cuts Benjamin Brinsa fighter accused of Neo-Nazi sympathies

Thomas Starke

The Ultimate Fighting Championship has elected not to stake its international reputation on Benjamin Brinsa's denials of a neo-nazi past. Brinsa has been cut by the promotion before stepping into the Octagon.

Damage control.

The UFC has terminated the contract of undefeated German Welterweight Benjamin Brinsa following controversy and allegations that Brinsa was an unapologetic neo-nazi. Ariel Helwani of MMA Fighting reported the news.

When the controversy first came to light, UFC president Dana White made the following comment:

"If he, in any way, shape, or form is involved in racist groups, Neo-Nazi groups, or anything negative like that, he'll be cut," White said. "But I don't want to jump the gun, because some people are tweeting stuff, and jump the gun and ruin this guy's life if it's not true. So we're going to look into it. I literally have a whole team of lawyers and everything in house looking at it right now in Vegas, and if it's true, [he will be cut]."

Brinsa had denied the allegations on Facebook:

"I am not a neo-Nazi, never have been, never will be," he wrote. "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.

"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."

Obviously this is a major set back for the 24-year-old Brinsa's MMA career but is probably a wise decision by the UFC who hopes to promote an event in Berlin in 2014. Given the UFC's struggles to even get on television in Germany, a country with laws against neo-nazi speech, this is probably the only decision that could be made.

Brinsa could conceivably rebrand himself as an outspoken critic of neo-nazi groups if he ever hopes to fight on the highest levels of the sport but it's hard to see the UFC re-signing him.

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