Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker addressed the Brandon Saling situation at the “Tate vs. Rousey” post-fight press conference Saturday night, insisting that Strikeforce “had no knowledge” of undercard fighter Saling’s criminal past and neo-nazi affiliations.
Saling caused a stir Saturday night when several neo-nazi tattoos were visible on his body during his loss against Roger Bowling. Saling has “white steel” printed on his stomach, with an “88” (neo-nazi code for “Heil Hitler”) flanked by SS symbols on his shoulder.
Saling is also a registered sex offender, previously serving prison time for “gross sexual imposition” involving the rape of a 12 year old girl. He later served time on a domestic assault charge as well.
Coker announced that the Ohio State Athletic Commission would be launching a full investigation on that matter. But it’s unclear as to what such an investigation would glean, as Saling’s past is readily available to anyone who bothers to do a simple web search. Quite frankly, it appears that Strikeforce was caught asleep at the wheel in allowing someone like Saling to fight for their organization and is now scrambling to react.
UFC President Dana White has yet to comment on the situation, saying only that he is still in Australia and looking into the situation. When he returns stateside, it’s not out of the question that Strikeforce heads will roll; possibly all the way up to Coker himself.