Two-time UFC middleweight title challenger Chael Sonnen was a decorated wrestler before stepping inside the cage, so it's no surprise he was furious with the International Olympic Committee's decision to remove wrestling from the Olympic program.
Speaking from his desk job with FUEL TV's UFC Tonight, "The American Gangster" blasted FILA, the governing body of amateur wrestling for letting the sport come to this (transcription via Bloody Elbow).
"Look, we have an idiocracy known as FILA that has ruined the sport. We have two knuckleheads that you couldn't trust to run your local donut shop, regulating our sport of wrestling. At the same time, is this a surprise? ...No, wrestling has cannibalized itself from 10 spots on the world and olympic team, to nine, to eight, to seven. Look guys, it's basic science, the number one rule in Biology, you either evolve, or you become extinct."
Sonnen, a two-time All-American wrestler at the University of Oregon and an Olympic alternate for Greco-Roman wrestling, says this move will likely take the classic combat sport out of the Olympic games forever.
"I am not the bearer of good news. I am not the one who is going to spark a fake light, spark a fake fire behind the proverbial back of this fight. It's over, guys. And it's not over in 2020. It's over in 2016 ... Here are the facts they are not telling you. Wrestling in this country is supported by the United States Olympic Committee. That ATM is going to close the moment they roll out the mat in 2016. You've got three and a half years left. You're going to count on a governing body that couldn't gain up one spot, move us from seven to eight, to save the whole sport? It's over, prepare the eulogy."
Since trading in the wrestling mats and singlets for a pair of four-ounce gloves and the cage, Sonnen has amassed a record of 27-12-1, only losing to UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva (twice) in the past two-and-a-half years.
Despite coming off a loss, "Uncle Chael" makes the move back to light heavyweight this April when he faces divisional champ Jon "Bones" Jones at UFC 159.
Is Sonnen spot-on in evaluating this shocking move by the IOC or is he incorrect in believing that wrestling will see its last Olympic run in 2016?