World Extreme Cagefighting general manager Reed Harris told Cagewriter that Zuffa fighters will no longer be allowed to wear Hoelzer Reich clothing in their fights. (Zuffa owns both the UFC and WEC.)
WEC 45 headliner Donald Cerrone had been sponsored by Hoelzer Reich, but withdrew from any association with the company months ago. His image remains on their Web site, but Harris said that Cerrone and his manager are taking steps to have his picture removed. Hoelzer Reich has come under fire for using Nazi-esque imagery in their clothing.
Hoelzer Reich tried to clear the air, saying they removed the clothing that had most offended people. But they still didn't seem to see the problem behind using Nazi-associated imagery:
The imagery that we reference dates back hundreds of years before Nazi Germany, and we did not realize that the brief association some of the imagery had with Nazi Germany over 70 years ago would still be so sensitive to so many people.
It does not matter what the iron cross, SS or any of the other symbols meant before they were used by Nazis, or how brief the association was with Nazi Germany. The evil committed by Adolf Hitler and the Third Reich ensured that those symbols will always come to symbolize the worst of humanity.
UPDATE: Hoelzer Reich has removed the names and pictures of every fighter featured on their team from their Web site. Also, Strikeforce fighter Lyle "Fancypants" Beerbohm left this message on the Underground, an MMA forum.
I'm no longer being sponsored by Hoelzer Reich. And I want to apologize to my fans.
Beerbohm had defended his former sponsor, but as a poster on the Underground said, "It's never too late to man up and apologize."