The UFC’s Octagon Girls are under a threat of being banned in Australia, because the tradition is “sexist” and “outdated,” according to several local politicians.
Since its debut, mixed martial arts tournaments have maintained the ages-old boxing tradition of having women hold title cards between rounds. But these Octagon Girls are now under political attack, the New York Post reported.
Some liberal politicians in Melbourne, Australia, are trying to force UFC President Dana White to not use Octagon Girls for the league’s upcoming bouts set for October 6 at Melbourne’s Marvel Stadium.
Sally Capp, the Lord Mayor of Melbourne, is leading the attack saying that we should all “move on” from the tradition.
“It’s 2019, do we really still need scantily clad women to wander around the middle of a fighting ring between rounds?” the Lord Mayor told the Herald Sun. “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.”
Victorian premier Daniel Andrews apparently agrees as a spokesperson said Andrews thought the Grand Prix is the model.
“The Grand Prix did the right thing in ending the use of grid girls, and we encourage other events to make similar moves,” the Andrews spokesperson said.
“We have come a long way in making sport more accessible for women and girls – events have a powerful message to send when it comes to the representation of women in sport and the community,” Andrews’ statement continued.
The UFC has not yet responded to the demands of the Australian politicians.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.