UFC Germany? “Ich don’t think so”

I’m surprised with the speed this rumor has captured the MMA blogsphere with but before European fight fans start celebrating a quick reality check. European MMA fans will know that Germany may well be the least prepared Western European country to host any major MMA event. The UFC in Germany in 2009 makes no sense at all no matter how you look at it.

I firmly believe UFC Germany would be a huge blunder for the following reasons:

*Does Couture really speak fluent German? I'm not convinced. Couture joined the U.S. Army some 25 years ago. He spent six years in the service. Its unclear how many years he spent in Germany. He picked up the language during his time in the army and chose to major in it while focusing on a athletic career at University. That was 20 years ago. I'd go as far as saying Couture is as fluent in German as Anderson Silva is fluent in English. If he still speaks any German its far from fluent.

*The UFC hasn't been on German TV for over 5 years. At one time Eurosport a dedicated cable sports channel did broadcast Pride and some European MMA events once in long while however other than that there is absolute zero MMA coverage on German TV. The UFC has never been on German TV outside the short lived deal with PPV channel Premiere that ended in 2004. Currently UFC events are no broadcast on any German broadcaster, so even if you wanted to catch a UFC event be it on PPV or free to air it simply wouldn’t be possible.

*Like in Japan major German fight sport events are broadcast on free to air TV not on PPV.

*There isn’t one significant German fighter in mixed martial arts. At this point Russian born Dennis Siver (11-5 MMA.1-3 UFC) is the only German fighter of note. Even with Matt Hamill headlining their UK card, the UFC in the UK has been an extremely unprofitable venture in a country with a fast growing MMA community. UFC Germany would be huge money loser.

*Germany may be the richest country in Europe however its just about least prepared destination in mainland Europe to host any major MMA event. Countries with a bigger and better mixed martial fan base include Poland, Holland even tiny Croatia. Brazil and South Korea remain a decade ahead of the German MMA community.

*The UFC’s Q Score or Q Rating is just about non existent. There is absolutely no brand recognition. There absolute zero name recognition of Randy Couture, Chuck Liddell even the term mixed martial arts. There’s are no more than one or two significant websites dedicated to MMA in Germany. Having lived there for years and visiting regularly I've yet to see any mainstream media coverage of the sport. The German MMA fan base is non existent.

With the German economy in a huge recession I cant see this event as anything other than a huge mistake on the UFC's part if it is held within the next 6 months.


  1. Randy Couture earned a degree in German from Oklahoma State University so I guess he speaks it well enough.

  2. No he earned a degree in double dutch, also known as German in Oklahoma..he doesn't speech german german

  3. I've haven spoken to Randy in German personally and I can tell you that his command of the language is just fine. There are tons of people speaking much worse German than him on TV over here, most notably pro boxers and soccer players.

  4. Great post. Thanks for the insight on the Germany MMA scene.

  5. Thanks Jared--I think they'll have a hard time over in Germany.

    I also dont understand the Liddell Couture match-up. They have a WIN and automatic rematch with Lesner lined up for Couture should be face MIR.

    I have a new article up at Betwwx on the UFC stance on fighters betting on fights.

    -Thanks for all the comments

  6. New post up on the homepage - UFC signs German TV deal.

  7. Actually there have been two attempts on introducing MMA to the German public:

    First DSF (German Sports Television) aired a reality show similar to the concept of "The Ultimate Fighter". The show had a horrible quality, weak fighters and the final (a live event equal to the Ultimate Fighter Finale) was canceled due to poor ticket sales and some more problems the promoter had.

    The second attempt was made by Eurosport, a much more serious sports channel in Europe who is successfully airing the K-1 World Grand Prix and K-1 MAX series. Eurosport began with the airing of PRIDE FC events which resulted in massive viewer complaints because of the violent nature of the program. Eurosport reachted immedeately and stopped the airing.

  8. well... I myselgf am writing from Germany at the moment. As I noticed it, the UFC in Germany was quite a huge event AND it was sold out. Further, UFC is on SKY now, and every Saturday evening on DSF. MMA is growing, as far as I can tell. Mr. White has probably the same opinion, because he is goiung to launch another UFC event in 2010.