Some Australian politicians have been calling for the UFC to ban the practice of utilizing Octagon Girls, calling it time to move on. UFC president Dana White characterized such calls as 'ridiculous.'
Ahead of UFC 243, Australian politicians tried to pressure the UFC to do away with its Octagon Girls prior to the Oct. 6 in Melbourne. UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker is expected to unify his title with interim champion Israel Adesanya at the 56,000-plus capacity Marvel Stadium.
“The Grand Prix did the right thing in ending the use of grid girls and we encourage other events to make similar moves,” a spokesperson for the Premier of Victoria, Daniel Andrews, told the Herald Sun. Melbourne is the capital of Victoria.
Andrews wasn’t the only Australian politician putting a voice to trying to end the practice of Octagon Girls.
“It’s 2019, do we really still need scantily clad women to wander around the middle of a fighting ring between rounds? Grid girls are no longer part of Formula One, walk-on girls are no longer part of professional darts – surely it’s time to move on,” Lord Mayor of Melbourne Sally Capp said.
White, however, defended the practice, claiming that the Octagon Girls are ambassadors for mixed martial arts.
“Our Octagon Girls, they’re as much a part of the UFC brand as anyone, they’re ambassadors for our sport,” White told The Daily Telegraph. “So for someone who has absolutely no education whatsoever about who these girls are – about what they do, what they mean to the UFC – to start going off, it’s ridiculous.
“So you can look at any sport you like, nobody treats women better than we do. And I’d suggest these people calling on them to be banned go have a look at what these girls do with the company, the type of money they’re making," White continued.
“Do that and you’ll realize these girls are as important to our brand as anyone else in the company. And that’s exactly the way we treat them.”
Tune in for full UFC on ESPN+ 18: Hermansson vs. Cannonier live results on Saturday, Sept. 28, on MMAWeekly.com. The UFC Copenhagen main event features a pivotal middleweight battle between contenders Jack Hermansson and Jared Cannonier.