Dana White: The demise of wrestling could lead to the evolution of MMA as an Olympic sport

Michael Cohen

Olympic wrestling isn't dead, it's simply undergoing a metamorphosis!

If you thought the end of wrestling as an Olympic sport meant the door was closing on medals for mixed martial arts (MMA), then I have some surprising news for you.

It may instead be the catalyst to get cage fighting on a global stage.

That's according to Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) President Dana White, who thinks combat sports can succeed where wrestling failed because MMA not only draws eyeballs, but money, too, and that's what the Olympic Games are all about these days.

From this week's media scrum (via MMA Weekly):

"The problem is nobody wants to watch it. Any sport, especially these days, it's about selling tickets and eyeballs and viewers and all these other things. And there's been a lot of people saying, 'You've got to f---ing do something.' What this could be is the evolution of mixed martial arts becoming an Olympic sport. We bring spectators, eyeballs ... whether it's TV or whatever it is. This sport draws. Wrestling doesn't. I can't be the guy to run out and try and save wrestling. I've been doing it for years. You know how many wrestling programs I funded over the past five, six years? A lot. Yeah, I don't want to see wrestling go away either. It's such a big part of the sport. But, something's going to happen here. It's going to evolve into mixed martial arts or something. I don't know. I don't think wrestling is going to go anywhere, but competitive wrestling definitely is."

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) Executive Board voted on Tuesday to have amateur wrestling cut from future games in an effort to overhaul the entire program, focusing on "popularity, finances, tickets sold and governance."

Also known as "pay to play."

Could a sport as successful as MMA make it into the Olympic Games? Or will the tightwads running the IOC get squeamish at the first sign of blood?

See more on this week's shocking turn of events here.

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