UFC President Dana White Believes MMA Will One Day Become College, Olympic Sport


UFC President Dana White Believes MMA Will One Day Become College, Olympic Sport Ultimate Fighting Championship president and New England native Dana White's prosperous sport is only getting bigger.

Just ask him.

White, who was born in Connecticut and grew up in both Boston and Maine, joined the Dan Patrick Show on Monday to talk about the future of MMA. That future is incredibly lofty, because according to him, it's going to (if it hasn't already) be taking the nation — and one day the entire world — by storm.

"This thing isn't going anywhere, it's only getting bigger," White said. "All these kids growing up now watching the UFC aren't going to be as afraid of this thing as the older people are today."

How high can this street brawling-like sport go? Ultimately, White would like to see it across American campuses and into the Olympic Games.

"A lot of these colleges are starting to pick up Jiu-Jitsu," he said. "There's a lot of teams in colleges. I believe that one day, this is going to be an Olympic sport, too. Everything that we do in mixed martial arts is already in the Olympics. First of all, they have judo in the Olympics and you can use submissions, throws and everything else. Wrestling, boxing, tae kwon do — all those sports are already in the Olympics. I don't know what makes mixed martial arts any more violent than boxing or anything else."

While the sport has had a few big names in Brock Lesnar, Kimbo Slice and Chuck Liddell, MMA is currently without a true legend. The sport has drawn the attention of fellow big-time athletes however, and some are even attempting second careers inside the octagon. Even NBA center and future Hall of Famer Shaquille O'Neal has been asking White to get a shot.

"Shaq's been terrorizing me to fight," he laughed. "He's been training for years and says he wants to fight some day."

But the sport isn't necessarily looking for a poster boy.

"We're fortunate right now — we have a lot of stars," he proudly stated. "Really, we have a whole roster of poster boys of the UFC. Pound for pound the best fighter in the world has been Anderson Silva, but in my opinion [he] hasn't been too exciting recently."

Whether Shaq finds himself in the ring someday or not, White is right — this sport is only getting bigger, and fans who don't believe so can check out UFC 114, which is hitting pay-per-view on Saturday, May 29. The event pits bitter rivals Quinton "Rampage" Jackson, who is starring in the upcoming A-Team film, against Rashad "Suga" Evans at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

The 5-foot-11, 205-pound Evans is 19-1-1, while Jackson, 6-foot-1, 205-pounds, is 30-7-0. Both fighters coached in last season's The Ultimate Fighter and were scheduled to fight once before, but Jackson took off to film The A-Team.

For those who can't catch UFC 114 come Memorial Day weekend, there's a chance to get in on the action yourself — to an extent. That's because the UFC is releasing a video game, UFC Undisputed, on Tuesday, and it had 400,000 pre-orders as of Monday.

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