Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) has been gearing up for its UFC 243: “Whittaker vs. Adesanya” pay-per-view (PPV) event next month in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, perhaps unaware that Octagon girls might be unwelcome in a land “Down Under.”
That’s according to local politicians like Lord Mayor of Melbourne, Sally Capp, who believes UFC should follow the example set by Formula One and rid itself of scantily-clad women who serve no purpose other than to walk around half-naked.
UFC President Dana White, as you might expect, is not on board.
“Our Octagon girls, they’re as much a part of the UFC brand as anyone, they’re ambassadors for our sport,” White told The Daily Telegraph. “So for someone who has absolutely no education whatsoever about who these girls are – about what they do, what they mean to the UFC – to start going off, it’s ridiculous.”
White specifically mentioned the contributions from veteran Octagon girls like Arianny Celeste and Brittney Palmer, who used their exposure inside the cage as a catalyst to other high-profile (and high-paying) gigs, like the cover of Playboy magazine.
“So you can look at any sport you like, nobody treats women better than we do,” White continued, perhaps forgetting these comments. “And I’d suggest these people calling on them to be banned go have a look at what these girls do with the company, the type of money they’re making. Do that and you’ll realize these girls are as important to our brand as anyone else in the company. And that’s exactly the way we treat them.”
UFC 243 is expected to carry on, business as usual, when it hits Marvel Stadium on Oct. 6 (airing stateside Oct. 5). The main event will feature Robert Whittaker defending his middleweight strap against interim titleholder, Israel Adesanya.
For the complete UFC 243 fight card and line up click here.