Dana White can’t save wrestling, ponders MMA in Olympics
“I’ve been battling this problem for years now; colleges are dropping it, high schools are dropping wrestling,” said White following Wednesday’s UFC on Fuel TV 7 press conference in London
“It’s an awesome base for fighting, for mixed martial arts, for everything. It changes people’s lives. It’s this grueling hard work and dedication, all the things that go in with being a wrestler.
“The problem is nobody wants to watch it.”
Therein lies the crux of the issue for the Olympics.
While the Olympics were originally the ultimate platform for sports, like most other ventures in the modern age, it has become a multi-faceted money machine, largely driven by the bottom line more so than by the will to declare the top athletes in the world in their respective sports.
That’s a key element of the IOC’s decision not lost on White.
“Any sport, especially these days, it’s about selling tickets and eyeballs and viewers and all these other things,” he stated, indicating that this could perhaps even be an opening for mixed martial arts to eventually find its way into the Games.
“There’s been a lot of people saying (to me) you gotta do something. But what this could be is the evolution of mixed martial arts becoming an Olympic sport,” White hypothesized. “We bring spectators, eyeballs, whether it’s on TV or whatever it is. This sport draws, wrestling doesn’t.”