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White hints at Olympic MMA progress won't lead efforts

JKhrome12010-12-12 05:18:23 +0000 #1
UFC president Dana White hints at Olympic MMA progress, won't lead efforts

by Steven Marrocco on Oct 21, 2010 at 1:15 pm ET

LOS ANGELES – UFC president Dana White doesn't feel it's his job to bring mixed martial arts to the Olympics, but he's apparently making inroads to help the cause.

During media festivities for UFC 121, White told ( ) that he's due in New York on Wednesday to meet those who may be sympathetic to incorporating the sport into the revered athletic competition.

"It's probably a lot closer than I would have ever thought," White said.

White was mum on whom he's meeting with, though he ruled out the International Olympic Committee, which organizes and oversees the Olympic Games.

He did, however, hint that there is interest beyond the MMA community in bringing the sport to a new level of prominence within the international sporting world.

Of the meeting, he said, "Some softballs are being lobbed up, and I'm trying to hit them."

Regardless of the apparent opportunity, White clarified he's merely reacting to that interest – and isn't knocking on doors. He's too busy promoting his company.

"To try to explain to you guys how busy I am, it's insane," he said. "I've always been busy, but I've never been this busy. It's been crazy, and to take something else on my plate that's going to take time away from the actual sport, I just don't see that being my job.

"But if softballs get lobbed up to me, it's my personality. I'm like, '[expletive], I'm going to do it somehow.'"

As recently as this past month, the UFC executive pushed the idea of an international competition – UFC style. With plans to film future seasons of "The Ultimate Fighter" in countries such as Canada and locales in the Middle East, White said he envisions an international competition in which winners of the reality shows faced off in a country-vs.-country event.

"The finale would be all the countries come together and everybody fights," he said.

Getting there is another story. The international reality shows are still in the works and have not come to fruition.

Still, White sees MMA's inclusion into the Olympics as inevitable, even if he isn't the guy to make it happen.

"You see wrestling, you see boxing, you see judo, Tae Kwon Do – I mean, all the things that are allowed in mixed martial arts are already an Olympic sport," White said. "The reality is [MMA] should be. And it should be sanctioned in every state and everywhere else around the world.

"But it isn't. It's going to take us time. I've been the guy to say it should be an Olympic sport, and I hope I see it before I die, but I'm not going to be the guy to do it. I know what my goals are and what I need to do. That's not one of them yet."

mycon2010-12-12 05:24:18 +0000 #2
Yeah, Dana probably wouldn't like to co-promote with the IOC.
Tobes2010-12-12 06:06:38 +0000 #3
Well, some high level boxers have had great success after olympic medals or golds (Lennox Lewis and Muhammad Ali come to mind). I think it would be cool. But I guarantee you this. It wouldn't be quite the same. There would be headgear, elbow and knee pads, 6 oz gloves and probably no elbows to a downed opponent. Also, I would expect 3 - 3 minute rounds for the men, and possibly 3 - 2minute rounds for the women. Oh, and there would be a HELL of a lot of early stoppages. Also, not really sure if they would fight in a cage or a ring. Even though the cage is now what we're all used to seeing in terms of MMA, I think to people unfamiliar with the sport, the cage seems more barbaric somehow.



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