There 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 MMAWeekly.com 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 MMAWeekly.com for more information on this story as it becomes available.