The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has voted to remove wrestling from the core group of events included in the Olympic Games, effectively killing its chances of being a part of the 2020 Olympics and striking a crushing blow to the grappling-centric sport itself. The extent of damage this decision by the IOC will have on wrestling remains to be seen, but the reverberations will likely be felt all the way down to the smallest high school, where every winter students join teams and sharpen their skills at takedowns, reversals and pins. After all, if you take away the Olympics – the brass ring and raison d’etre for a sport that offers almost no financial rewards at even the highest levels – what else is there to strive for? Also, considering how much wrestling is an intrinsic component of MMA, it almost goes without saying that this is big news for the cagefighting community as well. Here’s today’s news:
• Ronda Rousey and Liz Carmouche are no longer the only women slated to meet in the Octagon. The UFC has announced that former Strikeforce champ Miesha Tate and Cat Zingano will fight at the TUF 17 Finale on April 13 in Las Vegas, N.V. Hooray for female MMA’s future getting brighter at least.
• Beloved Hawaiian legend BJ Penn is in Utah having surgery on his eyes. Apparently, Penn has been dealing with cataracts (which can be brought on by trauma or through genetic predisposition). What does this mean for his future in the cage? That’s still up in the air, but obviously this is a medical hurdle that must be cleared before any decision is made.