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

Bellator 144 winner Goiti Yamauchi calls for winner of champ ‘Pitbull’ vs. Straus 2

  • 29 days ago

Featherweight Goiti Yamauchi picked up his third straight win in the Bellator cage this past Friday at Bellator 144, and now he wants to be rewarded for his efforts.Filed under: Bellator, News read news >>

Ben Rothwell Calls Nick Diaz’s Five-Year Suspension for Marijuana ‘Absurd’

  • 26 days ago

Ben Rothwell recently became the latest fighter to express his outrage over Nick Diaz's "absurd" five-year suspension for testing positive to marijuana. read news >>

Kimbo Slice to Headline Bellator Event in Houston: Details and Reaction

  • 26 days ago

Kimbo Slice will headline the main event in Bellator MMA’s next tentpole Feb. 19 at Toyota Center in Houston, according to Jeremy Botter of the Houston Chronicle. Slice’s opponent hasn’t been finaliz read news >>

Rory MacDonald Believes 19-Year-Old UFC Newcomer Sage Northcutt Has Bright Future

  • 26 days ago

Nineteen-year-old Sage Northcutt wowed UFC president Dana White when the promotion’s executive attended Legacy Fighting Championship 42 over the summer. read news >>

Michael Page sees Bellator title fight in future: 'Everyone's screaming for it to happen'

  • 26 days ago

Michael Page added another victory to his undefeated resume at Bellator 144 this past weekend. Questions still remain, however, about how good Page really is.Filed under: Bellator, News read news >>

Tim Kennedy rips Reebok deal, says he'd 'definitely' fight for Scott Coker in Bellator (Yahoo Sports)

  • 27 days ago

From Yahoo Sports: Kennedy, who says he hasn't gotten a check from Reebok, isn't exactly happy with the UFC right now. read news >>

Tim Kennedy rips Reebok deal, says he'd 'definitely' fight for Scott Coker in Bellator (Yahoo Sports)

  • 27 days ago

From Yahoo Sports: Kennedy, who says he hasn't gotten a check from Reebok, isn't exactly happy with the UFC right now. read news >>

Has Dana White Taken a Vow of Silence in Wake of Scathing Vitor Belfort Report?

  • 27 days ago

UFC President Dana White has made a habit of personally meeting any challenge to his promotion. Whether it's on TV, on the radio or on Twitter, if any slight, real or perceived, is made regarding the read news >>

Bellator 145's Michael Chandler: 'I just know I'm better than Will Brooks'

  • 27 days ago

Bellator executives haven’t come right out and told Michael Chandler what he’s fighting for at Bellator 145 next week, other than a paycheck and a possible win on his resume.Filed under: Bellator, Ne read news >>

Departing UFC Exec Don Gold on Dana White and Zuffa's Infamous Christmas Parties

  • 27 days ago

Don Gold did a lot of great things for the UFC in his years with the company, spearheading the development of five top-selling video games, a home video program that helped keep the sport alive when read news >>