Wrestling considers makeover

May 15, 2013

MMA Junkie (via USA Today) reports that Olympic Wrestling will be undergoing an “MMA Makeover” in an attempt to reinsert the sport in the Olympics.

One of the major proposed changes is to do away with the traditional wrestling singlet in exchange for MMA-type fight shorts and a tight microfiber t-shirt or just going without a shirt.  In addition, the sport’s leaders are contemplating staged weigh-ins, walkout music, lighting and video screen replays.

The Chairman for the Preservation of Olympic Wrestling has met with Dana White and Bjorn Rebney about the presentation of the sport.  The goal is to make the sport more marketable and appealing.

Payout Perspective:

The proponents of preserving Olympic Wrestling are pulling out all the stops to return the sport to the Olympics.  While rebranding and repackaging the sport to make it aesthetically pleasing will help, it still faces challenges with the essence of the sport.  Frankly, its not an easy sport to understand if you were to just tune in.  Educating the casual viewer of the sport is essential.  Its also interesting to note that the showmanship and flash that is sometimes criticized as “poor sportsmanship” appear to be things that could help the sport become attractive to a wider audience.

5 Responses to “Wrestling considers makeover”

  1. BrainSmasher on May 15th, 2013 10:48 PM

    I think it would help if they took out the different starting positions. It would be easier to follow if they both started standing and you knew the goal was just to get the other guys down, keep him there, then pin him. But you have constant start and stops for escapes and stuff that makes me lose interest.

    I would like to see them go to a more MMA type rule set of wrestling. Wrestling has rules that looks strange and makes it more difficult to score. Like when you can and cant lock your hands, etc. I would also add a boundary wall. Wrestling out in the open becomes a very difficult process. It is hard to land double and single legs out in the open. The futher of wrestling after wrestling is MMA and wrestling against the fence is part of it. Why not bring it into wrestling. takedowns are much more effective and happen much more often and makes the matches move at a much better pace. This would only make wrestlers even more prepared for MMA when they cross over. You could then do away with the escape stuff that slows the matches and it would cut down tremendously on stalling.

    If it was in a cage with mma style wrestling. I would watch and I think it would be very exciting. Keep the essence of wrestling which is the takedown, control, and pin. This other positions and rules are not needed.

  2. pureincognito on May 16th, 2013 3:09 AM

    Add strikes and submissions.

  3. Diego on May 16th, 2013 6:33 AM


    My only concern would be stalling against the cage/wall. Even though it’s hard to land doubles, keeping it on an open mat keeps the action going even though the opponent may sprawl.

    I do think the rules have to be cleaned up so that the action and the scoring is easier to understand.

  4. BrainSmasher on May 16th, 2013 12:59 PM

    I think the ref can restart it if there is stalling against the cage. But in the open guys get tired and it takes to much speed or a lot of time to set up a takedown in the open. So guys are scared to commit to a shot. They don’t want to get sprawled so they just circle and slap at each others head. With the cage you can still get takedowns when tired or when you lose your explosive speed. You don’t have to just survive the time limit. Using the cage is very effective and both wrestlers will be aggressive trying to use it and not allow it to be used against them. Currently wrestling doesn’t favor the aggressor unless they have a huge skill advantage. There is huge risk in trying for a takedown late in a match. Plus a wrestling match wouldn’t be 5 minutes. More like 3 minute rounds. Plus since they are just wrestling instead of multiple styles. Their cardio will hold up better. In the cage with less restrictive rules would be a fire ball imo.

  5. Tops of on May 16th, 2013 3:43 PM

    Dana will save wrestling the way he made the UFC sanctioned in new York…..haha…thou I agree the singlet must go…..I think USA wrestling and some other western countries will be warm to Dana’s ideas but wrestling countries like Iran Mongolia and even Russia would be hard to convince to change things up….

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