Amid the fights and fanfare at UFC Moscow, one local reporter took the time to ask a question to promotion executive Dave Shaw that was clearly bugging him: will we ever see kids slugging it out in the octagon?
Saturday night in the Russian capital saw home hero Zabit Magomedsharipov scrape a decision win against Calvin Kattar in their featherweight main event on a card that had also featured the women’s bantamweight match-up between Australia’s Jessica Rose-Clark and Sweden’s Pannie Kianzad earlier in the evening.
And, given that the UFC has female competitors, one local journalist was curious as to whether that might be the cue for anyone and everyone to be allowed in the octagon, including children.
“The UFC used to say that they will never have women fighting, and now they have women fighting on the cards, so will there ever be kids’ fights in the UFC, because there are in some championships,” the reported said via translation.
“Children in the UFC?” asked the promotion’s head of international, Dave Shaw, before replying: “No, we won’t have children in the UFC.”
So there you have it.
— Jed I. Goodman (@jedigoodman) November 9, 2019
In fairness to the reporter, Chechnya’s Akhmat MMA promotion held bouts between youngsters several years ago, featuring the sons of local leader Ramzan Kadyrov.
The move came under criticism from figures including Russian MMA legend Fedor Emelianenko, while the Russian Sports Ministry said it would open an enquiry into the fights.
UFC boss Dana White was famously filmed stating in 2011 that women would “never” compete in the promotion, before backtracking when Ronda Rousey faced Liz Carmouche in the main event of UFC 157 in February of 2013.
But the promotion reversing its ‘no children’ stance is somewhat less likely, it seems.