Ohio Attorney General's Office: Sex Offender Details
The failure on the part of MMA promoters to ensure socially responsible behavior by professional fighters reached a new low earlier this month.
On March 3rd, Brandon C. Saling, who is a convicted sex offender and wears tattoos linked to Neo-Nazi culture, was allowed to compete in an event held by Strikeforce, a professional MMA promotion also owned by Zuffa, LLC, the parent company of the UFC. Saling is listed in Ohio’s sex offender registry for the offense of “gross sexual imposition.” In addition, Saling competed with the numbers “88” and lightning bolts tattooed on his shoulder. According to the Anti-Defamation League, the eighth letter of the alphabet is “H,” and the numbers “88” are often used by hate groups as shorthand for the greeting, “Heil Hitler.” Lightning bolts are frequently seen in neo-Nazi tattoos and are meant to symbolize the Schutzstaffel, or SS, Heinrich Himmler’s police forces.
Yet, Saling was allowed to compete before thousands of fans at the Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio, in an event that was broadcast on the Showtime network.