UFC star Dustin Poirier says it would be ‘incredible’ to see MMA in Olympics

 

Some decades ago, the thought of mixed martial arts in the Olympics didn’t exist.

However, as the UFC and other MMA promotions have skyrocketed in popularity, the conversation is hot and heavy.

Mixed martial arts did not become legal in all 50 states until New York became the last to legalize it just eight years ago.

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It is still illegal in some parts of Canada, and it was banned in France in 2016, the same year it became legal across the entire United States.

When Dustin Poirier was on the rise, he only needed to focus on the UFC because that was all he was allowed to do.

“When I was an amateur fighter back in 2006, 2007, the sport was still so young at the time. When I was fighting as an amateur, the talks of mixed martial arts being in the Olympics was nowhere in the mind. So, that was nothing I was ever focused on,” Poirier told Fox News Digital in a recent interview.

But the sport is global and more popular than ever, and Poirier will fight Islam Makhachev of Russia for Makhachev’s lightweight championship June 1 in Newark.

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Now, as the sport sells out arenas routinely and has traveled all over the world, Poirier can see it happening and thinks those who are able should jump at the opportunity to represent their countries.

“But now far into my pro career, as the sport grows and hearing people say it,” he says, “I think it would be incredible for these young guys and people who are still an amateur chasing their dreams to represent the USA on the world stage would be incredible, man.”

The debate remains ongoing, and no matter what happens, it will be controversial.

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UFC President Dana White supported the idea a couple years ago.

“I think it should be an Olympic sport already,” White said at the time, via MMA Junkie. “It’s not my job. It’s not what I’m looking to do. I’m not pushing to turn this thing into an Olympic sport. I agree with whoever said that, yes. And not to mention the fact that one of the big problems the Olympics is having right now is viewership. You want viewers? Put MMA in the Olympics.”

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