In a story that brings to mind old cliches about the fate of those who fail to learn from the past, the World Series of Fighting made a rather curious decision in talent acquisition when they booked Dustin Holyko to take on Neiman Gracie in a fight that ended up airing on NBC.
Holyko, who lost via second round submission, has one of the more lengthy criminal histories in mixed martial arts.
A search of the Volusia County Clerk record shows such highlights as 2005 disorderly intoxication, 2008 concealed weapon, 2010 disorderly intoxication and obstructing an officer before things got much worse. There’s the 2011 domestic battery and cruelty to animals charges, 2012 felony battery domestic violence and a 2013 domestic battery by strangulation.
This doesn’t even touch on all the marks on Holyko’s record. Holyko is also currently on probation for an “escape” charge in 2012, according to the Florida Department of Corrections.
Making matters worse, Holyko has several white pride related tattoos. He has iron crosses on his forearms, Nazi “SS” lightning bolt symbols on his back (seen in this photo at the top of the tattoo) and the word “White” on his right bicep and “Pride” on the left (most easily seen in this photo).
This Saturday’s World Series of Fighting card was the first to air on NBC and the Gracie vs. Holyko fight from the prelims made the broadcast as a time filler after the main card finished early.
The WSOF decision to sign him either in spite of–or while being oblivious to–his criminal history and offensive tattoos is reminiscent of Brandon Saling being put on a Strikeforce card despite a similar criminal history/neo-Nazi tattoo scheme or the UFC allowing a seemingly completely neo-Nazi inspired clothing company to sponsor fighters on their cards.
There’s certainly no law against having the kind of hate inspired, gross tattoos that someone like Holyko seems to enjoy, but it makes little sense for a fight promotion to pick someone sporting said ink and with a violent, domestic abuse riddled criminal history for an unimportant preliminary card slot. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of fighters available to fill such a slot.
But, WSOF went with Holyko. Either because they did not vet the fighter at all prior, which is bad. Or because they simply didn’t care, which is arguably worse.
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