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.

Related News

Phil Davis on Bellator, Emanuel Newton, and free thinkers

  • 20 days ago

Phil Davis calls his first-round opponent in Saturday's Bellator one-night light heavyweight tournament in San Jose, Emanuel Newton, a "free thinker." Sometimes Newton, the former Bellator 205-pound read news >>

Bellator champion Will Brooks upset with 'royal treatment' given to Phil Davis and Tito Ortiz

  • 19 days ago

"Ill Will" calls it as he sees it... Bellator 142: "Dynamite 1," a hybrid mixed martial arts (MMA) and kickboxing event that took place inside SAP Center in San Jose, California last night (Sat. Sept read news >>

Video: Frank Shamrock would only come back to fight Dana White or Donald Trump

  • 18 days ago

Despite Bellator trying to convince Frank Shamrock to come out of retirement, the former UFC champ says he would only do so against Dana White or Donald Trump. Bellator tried to convince Frank Shamro read news >>

Bellator's Kendall Grove calls fighters to organize following Nick Diaz's 'death sentence' suspension

  • 15 days ago

While Kendall Grove prepares to face Joey Beltran Sept. 25 at Bellator 143, the former Ultimate Fighter winner admits a bigger fight is being waged right now. With the Nevada Athletic Commission (NAC read news >>

Bellator's Darrion Caldwell setting wrestling relationships aside with Shawn Bunch, 'bitter' Daniel Cormier

  • 14 days ago

Darrion Caldwell got to know Shawn Bunch well at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. The two high-level wrestlers hung out with each other regularly. They were both on a trip to Azerbaij read news >>

MMAjunkie Radio (1 p.m. ET): Bellator 142's 'King Mo' Lawal, Sammy the Squid, Muna from San Fran

  • 28 days ago

MMAjunkie Radio kicks off at 1 p.m. ET (10 a.m. PT) with guests Muhammad Lawal, Sammy the Squid and listener Muna from San Francisco. Filed under: Bellator, MMAjunkie Radio, News read news >>

Ready to Change Her Life, Rebecca Ruth Grasping for Shamrock FC Belt and Bellator Contract

  • 29 days ago

Rebecca Ruth realizes the potential of a Shamrock FC win on Friday night. With a belt and a Bellator contract on the line, it would be life-changing. read news >>

Tim Sylvia Blasts Dana White, Recalls Potential Brock Lesnar Bout

  • 28 days ago

It's hard to remember an MMA career more turbulent than Tim Sylvia's. The two-time UFC heavyweight champion, who pairs wins over Andrei Arlovski and Ben Rothwell with losses to Abe Wagner and aged ex read news >>

UFC on FOX 17: Sarah Kaufman vs. Germaine de Randamie joins Orlando card in December

  • 28 days ago

Kaufman aims to get back on the winning track against the Dutch striker. While it may not be the bout or opponent she was looking for, Sarah Kaufman 17-3-(1) will soon be inside the Ultimate Fighting read news >>

Kimbo Slice returning for Bellator 142: 'Dynamite 1' fan festivities

  • 28 days ago

The popular street brawler turned MMA fighter, fresh off his win over Ken Shamrock in St. Louis, will be taking part in the Bellator 142: 'Dynamite 1' festivities in San Jose. Bellator MMA is offerin read news >>