UFC 99 is already hardly the most popular event for fight fans in the U.S. The card, which has a main event of Rich Franklin vs. Wanderlei Silva, is lackluster compared to the lineups of UFC 100, 101 and 102. Add to that the fights are in Germany, so they will air on a Saturday afternoon, and you can see why fans aren't running to their phones to order this event.
As it turns out, not everyone in Germany is overly excited about the fights coming to town, either.
An open dispute erupted when the Cologne City Council discussed the upcoming fight card. Event organizers claim that the council is hell bent on foiling the upcoming event. "MMA is not a sport because it legitimizes death and serious injury. The only aim is to destroy your opponent," said Manfred Wolf, a Cologne council member. "I personally find it disgusting ... Here one finds the lowest human instincts." ... The City Councilor has made it clear that is does not want to hold a major mixed martial arts event because of the harm it could cause to the city's image.
Marek Lieberberg, a German entertainment executive, has partnered with the UFC to make this event happen. He finds the city council member's statements absurd, and said he stands behind the event.
With every new market that the UFC goes into, they are bound to have some resistance from some residents. MMA is not everyone's cup of tea, and there will always be a blustering congressman, Assemblyman or city council member who will use MMA to make headlines. With more than 7,000 tickets reportedly already sold for UFC 99, it doesn't seem as if Mr. Wolf represents the will of the people.
Thanks to Robert K. from Big Odds Mike