UFC Joins the Fight to Save Olympic Wrestling, Calls on Bellator and Viacom for Cooperation


DanaWhitePrePresser_001-460x270When the International Olympic Committee (IOC) voted in February to cut wrestling from the Olympic Games starting in 2020, the decision sent shock waves not only through the wrestling community, but throughout the sports world; perhaps none more so than the mixed martial arts community.

Wrestling is a core component to mixed martial arts.  Several Olympic wrestlers have made their way into MMA, including Daniel Cormier, Matt Lindland, Dan Henderson, Randy Couture, Sarah McMann, among others.  2000 Olympic Games gold medalist Rulon Gardner has one professional MMA bout on his resume as well.

“This is a process of renewing and renovating the program for the Olympics,” IOC spokesman Mark Adams said at the time the decision was made. “In the view of the executive board, this was the best program for the Olympic Games in 2020. It’s not a case of what’s wrong with wrestling, it is what’s right with the 25 core sports.”

Wrestling is on a short-list of eight sports that can argue its case for inclusion in the Games, so there’s still hope for wrestling in the Olympics. The UFC is joining the fight to save wrestling.  The other sports positioning for inclusion are baseball/softball, karate, roller sports, sport climbing, squash, wakeboarding and wushu.

“I’ve met with a lot of top guys in wrestling.  I met with them last Tuesday, and the UFC is joining the fight to help save Olympic wrestling,” said UFC president Dana White on Tuesday.

“Not just Olympic wrestling.  Colleges are dropping wrestling right now.  High schools have been dropping wrestling for a long time.  Myself, I have personally funded tons of wrestling programs and the UFC has funded tons of wrestling programs for high school kids,” said White.

“I can’t be the guy to try and run out and save wrestling,” said White during the UFC on Fuel TV 7 press conference on Feb. 13.

One man can’t save wrestling, but a collective effort potentially can.

“It’s in the discussion phase.  These guys are going out and fighting the fight.  I think what I can do, and not just me and the UFC, but I think other companies like Bellator, too – Viacom owns Bellator, and I think Viacom would be probably interested in fighting the fight too,” said White on Tuesday’s UFC on Fox 7 media conference call.

Ultimately wrestling’s Olympic future rests with the IOC, but there’s still time to convince them that they made a mistake, and still time to get the oldest sport in the world back in the 2020 Games.

view original article >>
Report here if this news is invalid.
From Around the Web

Related News

  • 29 days ago
  • 530 views

The UFC president spoke to GSP about a return to the octagon in his hometown in April, but the former champ had a good reason to turn it down. With a big UFC show coming up in Montreal on April 25th read news >>

  • 16 days ago
  • 61 views

It appears the former lightweight champion may want to stay at welterweight after all. After an awe-inspiring performance in the main event of UFC Fight Night 60 last night (Sat., Feb. 14, 2015) live read news >>

  • a day ago
  • 240 views

UFC President Dana White has not spoken to GSP since the new drug-testing policy was announced but did not appear confident about the former champion’s potential return to the octagon. Several months read news >>

  • 28 days ago
  • 1 views

UFC President Dana White suggested an Anderson Silva win over Nick Diaz could earn “The Spider” a title shot. So with the victory in the books, does the former champ deserve another fight with Chris read news >>

  • 27 days ago
  • 2 views

UFC president Dana White issued a show of support for Anderson Silva, including keeping him on as coach on TUF Brazil 4. read news >>

  • 27 days ago
  • 96 views

Dana White has published a statement addressing Anderson Silva's failed drug test, which could affect his position as head coach on season 4 of The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil. UFC president Dana White read news >>

  • 24 days ago
  • 76 views

RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil -- UFC president Dana White says the promotion won’t make a dime off the Reebok deal, and all the money will go directly to the fighters. Fabricio Werdum, recently crowned UFC read news >>

  • 17 days ago
  • 3 views

Two fighters failed to make weight for Saturday’s UFC Fight Night event in Bloomfield, Colo., and UFC president Dana White says there will be consequences for showing up heavy. read news >>

  • 16 days ago
  • 122 views

Even UFC President Dana White was a huge fan of "The Spider." Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) brass were undoubtedly ecstatic to finally have an event last evening (Sat., Feb. 14, 2015) as Broom read news >>