Future For UFC Could Involve Events In Russia, Outfit Pushing For Olympic Inclusion
UFC President Dana White is "eager to set up a show in Russia and said he was unaware of the country's new anti-gay legislation and the backlash it has created," according to the AP. White said, "We're going to talk to the right people and we're going to figure out whether we're going to do this or not." White said that he "did not know the date" of a potential visit. Asked about the law and the controversy surrounding it, White said, "No, I know nothing about it" (AP, 8/29).
READY FOR THE RINGS? REUTERS' Patrick Johnston wrote as MMA "grapples for recognition as a mainstream sport, the powerbrokers behind its surge in popularity are adamant inclusion in the Olympic Games is close to becoming a reality." UFC Exec VP & Asia Managing Dir Mark Fischer said that an Olympic place "might only be 20 years away thanks to the work of his organisation in growing the sport and the introduction of the fledgling" Int'l MMA Federation. Fisher said, "Because of the interest, because of the investment now the startups, gyms, promotions etc that are going into mixed martial arts, then we are very confident that we are going to have the weight behind this movement to be in the Olympics." Fischer acknowledged, however, that Olympic inclusion "was not on his immediate agenda as he bids to help MMA and the UFC in Asia." Fischer: "Do we need it? No, we are going to survive and continue to grow. Would it help to put us on that next level of interest and really capture everybody's imagination and understanding? I think it would help tremendously" (REUTERS, 8/30).