Could UFC, Daniel Cormier Help Save Olympic Wrestling with Crossover Matches?

June 28, 2013
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Daniel CormierThere has been a rallying cry in the wrestling community ever since the Olympic committee decided to yank the sport from the Games starting in 2020.

Since that time, wrestling has made it onto the short list to be re-added to the Olympics with a final vote coming later this year, but the supporters of the sport have learned a valuable lesson that anything less than growing is dying.

In that vain, it appears the wrestling world is looking to take the next big step in promoting the sport on a national level.

With the success of the jiu-jitsu promotion Metamoris putting on a major show just a few weeks ago that attracted a solid live audience, as well as buyers on pay-per-view, wrestling may be headed towards a similar format.

On the heels of the recent U.S. World Team Trials in Oklahoma, efforts are being made along with USA wrestling to potentially build a promotable event similar to Metamoris featuring the best of the best in the wrestling world competing against one another.

Sources have indicated that an event is potentially being planned for September with wrestlers from all walks of life being asked to participate in the event.

In one of the biggest moves, however, rumors have it that the group organizing the effort is also targeting some of the biggest stars in the mixed martial arts world to participate in the event.  Many of the top fighters in the UFC, Bellator and other promotions have come from wrestling backgrounds, so it makes perfect sense to showcase them on this type of event.

UFC president Dana White has spoken out about his promotion’s support of the move to save Olympic wrestling, and this could be an avenue to add more viewers and popularity to the sport.

Additionally, sources have stated that they hope to showcase several high-profile MMA stars in match-ups against some of the best from the current wrestling community.  One name in particular that is high on the wish list is current UFC heavyweight and former Olympian Daniel Cormier, and several other wrestlers turned fighters could also be used if the UFC would sign off on their participation.  Names such as Dan Henderson, Chris Weidman, and Phil Davis, among others, could be high-profile fighters that could get the call to take part in his blockbuster event should it come together.

“It’s time for us to stand for the sport that’s made us all,” Cormier told Bleacher Report, an official content partner, when discussing what could be done to help save Olympic wrestling.

Another major bout that’s being proposed for the event is a rematch between Olympic gold medalist Jordan Burroughs and former NCAA champion Kyle Dake. Burroughs and Dake met at the U.S. team trials with Burroughs coming away victorious.

With both wrestlers at the top of their games right now, a rematch later this year could potentially gain national attention.

As far as locations for the events, sources have stated that Atlanta is one potential landing spot, as well as Madison Square Garden in New York City.   Rumble on the Rails, an event showcasing wrestlers from the U.S., Russia and Iran, had great success with its recent events in New York and California, and this show would be similar, but on a much larger scale.

Stay tuned to for more information on this story as it becomes available.

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  • Dave Franklin

    I love this idea!

    Imagine if Zuffa puts it’s full support behind this. We could see how guys like GSP do in a wrestling match much the way Schaub did at Metamoris (although I would hope that GSP would perform better than Schaub did). How about a Chris Weidman vs Phil Davis rematch? Then make Dake vs. Burroughs the main event. I am sold!

    • Gerald Thornton

      Phil Davis is already scheduled to wrestle Ed Ruth in my book lol… I’d prefer to not see a Burroughs-Dake rematch til next trials so how about Burroughs-GSP and Dake-Weidman. Daniel Cormier-Tervel Taylor-Sonnen and Ryan Mango-Might Mouse.

      • Dave Franklin

        Burroughs – GSP would be over fast. Probably quicker than the first time Burroughs got the tech on Dake. lol

        Would be fun to get Ben Askren in the mix on this too.

        • Gerald Thornton

          Actually Askren-GSP would make more sense both being welterweight champs and all. It’d be cool to have international guys come over like Goudarzi-Taylor I’d love to see how DT’s offense would do against Goudarzi

          • fsunoles10

            id like to see jake shields wrestle some top guys, if you havent seen that video of him and askren grappling yall might want to check it out. personally i think shields got the better of the grappling, the scrambles were insane though.

        • rhutton

          There’s no way Dana is going to let GSP face Askren outside the UFC in a wrestling match he might lose. Even against a non-MMA opponent the UFC would probably be worried about Georges getting injured doing it and screwing up a future match. We might see guys like Cormier on this show, but the really big names are unlikely.

  • fsunoles10

    i never wrestled although i did out wrestle a top 5 wrestler in my state one day after school but i didnt wrestle because f football and baseball but to take wrestling out of the olympics is about as stupid as it gets, but they have bad mitton and all these other stupid events nobody cares about over an event thats been here since the beginning? i honestly dont understand the logic, and it isnt like wrestling is just big here its big in russia, japan and many other places.

    • Dave Franklin

      It’s the Iranian National Sport! Those guys are killer on the mat.

    • fsunoles10

      hah i read my comment back and it seemed like i was bragging, i threw that out wrestled a top wrestler in the state part just to say i was interested in going out but didnt on account of other sports.

      • jay

        badminton is popular in asia and also very fun, i agree almost any sport that isnt track and field is less important than wrestling tho

  • El Gvapo

    Here in England there’s zero wrestling anywhere and you’d never see it on tv, even as part of the Olympics. But it absolutely has to stay as part of the games, it’s as traditional as you can get as an Olympic sport. The top Olympic events in terms of tradition are track, wrestling, archery, discus and javelin. All these would have been in the first Olympics and should always remain. Get rid of 25m air pistol or that gay rhythmic gymnastics stuff instead.

    • Luke Steadman


  • Stephen Quadros

    You can’t take an original olympic sport out of the olympics