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Mixed martial arts for Olympics? UFC execs hope so, but won't push the cause
Posted on Thu, Mar 4, 2010 at 9:20 am
by The IDMA Team

Mixed martial arts for Olympics? UFC execs hope so, but won't push the cause


SYDNEY, Australia Ultimate Fighting Championship executives say they'd support a move for mixed martial arts to become an Olympic sport.

UFC president Dana White, in Sydney ahead of Sunday's sold-out UFC 110 at Acer Arena, said while his company would not actively lobby the International Olympic Committee, he would support their inclusion in the games.

Although UFC matches feature caged fighting, the different disciplines of mixed martial arts - boxing, wrestling, taekwondo and judo - feature in the Olympics as individual events.
"It would be a huge benefit to us if mixed martial arts became an Olympic sport," White said. "It would create instant awareness around the world, and it would be huge.
"I would support it 100 per cent. I personally am not out there trying to get mixed martial arts as an Olympic sport ... but if it popped and they said, 'Yes, we're thinking about it,' I would go guns ablazing and try to make it happen."

The UFC's first show in Australia sold out 16,500 tickets within four hours in December, despite the card not having been announced. White also told local media in stories published Friday that Australia could become an annual stop on the UFC tour.

The only venue to sell out faster, according to the UFC, was UFC 83 in Montreal in April 2008, when 21,390 attended the Bell Centre.

Sunday's event in Sydney will be headlined by a heavyweight bout between veteran Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and Cain Valasquez and a middleweight clash between Wanderlei Silva and Michael Bisping. Former UFC heavyweight Nogueira, a Brazilian who has a jiujutsu black belt, has a record of 32-5-1. Velazquez, a 27-year-old Californian, is 7-0 and has beaten all but one opponent inside the distance. Silva, with a record of 32-10-1, won the PRIDE world championship in Japan for five years in a row. Bisping, 19-2, was the UFC's winner in its third season.

An undercard bout between Elvis Sinosic and Chris Haseman will be the first all-Australian bout to take place in the UFC.

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