We often talk about violence, discrimination and racism but what do they mean and how do they implicate us? Timo Feucht was about to find out…
Days before making his dream debut at the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) bout on July 15 last year, UFC rescinded the offer to the 24-year-old athlete after learning about his right-wing past through the German MMA Amateur Federation (GAMMAF).
Growing up in Leipzig, Germany, Timo was part of a right-wing, hooligan group and took part in an attack at the Connewitz district in Leipzig in 2016 and was arrested.
As a result of the UFC contract being retracted, Timo lost the support of the mixed martial arts community and is struggling to provide for his young family.
Last August, he reached out to GAMMAF to understand why they reported him to UFC and they explained to him that he cannot be given any platform to amplify racism when there are many young fans who see mixed martial arts athletes as role models. Since then, Timo has changed his training partners, his management, and most importantly, distanced himself from his former right-wing groups.
Timo knows that he cannot undo his past actions and behaviour but what he can do is to change his attitude and actions. With the support of GAMMA, Timo has agreed to be the ambassador of their anti-racism programme to educate youths about fairness and inclusion, and the importance of eradicating racism, extremism, and hate. He will give seminars for underprivileged youths and share his story with people who have been exposed to racism. Hopefully, his first-hand experience will enable youths to relate to him better and make better choices in life.
GAMMA wants to use the story of Timo Feucht to make a statement that everybody deserves a second chance because society should focus less on past mistakes and more on what we do to be better.
The Global Martial Arts Association (GAMMA) is the world governing body for the sport of Mixed Martial Arts. GAMMA is headed by its President, Alexander Engelhardt, and based in The Netherlands. GAMMA is a non-profit sport federation with national recognised federations across five continents. As MMA continues to grow in popularity around the world, we need to ensure the values of MMA are promoted and GAMMA’s focus is on raising the quality of MMA as a sport globally. We are working to develop and implement initiatives to promote the values of the sport and work with Member National Associations to establish quality development programs and pathways.