UFC president Dana White has thrown his weight behind the fight to get wrestling back in the Olympic games. The international wrestling community was blindsided by the International Olympic Committee in February, when it announced wrestling had been dropped for the 2020 Games. A key part of the ancient Olympic Games in Greece, wrestling was suddenly in the fight of its life to stay on the program. The IOC will vote one of seven events back onto the 2020 agenda in September, but most commentators say it’s unlikely wrestling will have the numbers. It’s a high-stakes decision for wrestling programs around the world and for MMA. On Saturday, April 20 at UFC on Fox – Henderson vs Melendez, two All-American wrestlers and an Olympian will compete to stay right at the top of their divisions. Their boss, White, confirmed on the conference call he was prepared to join the wrestling community in the trenches and fight to keep the sport where it belongs.
“Yeah, I have, I’ve met with a lot of the top guys in wrestling. Actually, I met with them last Tuesday and, yeah, the UFC is joining the fight to help save Olympic wrestling. Not just Olympic wrestling, I mean, colleges are dropping wrestling now, high schools have been dropping wrestling for a long time. Myself, I personally have funded tonnes of wrestling programs and the UFC has funded tonnes of wrestling programs for high school kids … It’s in the discussion phase. These guys are going out and fighting the fight and whatever they need from me … And not just me or the UFC, but I think other companies like Bellator, too, you know - Viacom owns Bellator and I think Viacom would be probably interested in helping fight the fight ,too.”
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