'Do we really need scantily clad women?' UFC urged to ban octagon girls in latest feminist salvo
The ‘anti-octagon girls’ campaign has been launched ahead of UFC 243 at Melbourne’s Marvel Stadium on October 6, which will be headlined by Robert Whittaker's bout against Kiwi Israel Adesanya.
The promotion headed by Dana White, which has a long-running tradition of inviting octagon girls to bouts, has been urged to scrap the “outdated” tradition, which has been accussed of sexually exploiting women.
Premier of Victoria Daniel Andrews, who is behind the initiative, asked the UFC to follow in the footsteps of Formula One organizers who discontinued their use of grid girls more than a year ago.
“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 Andrews said.
Lord Mayor of Melbourne Sally Capp joined the chorus of critics, calling for the cancellation of the old between-rounds custom of presenting near-naked women.
“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,” she said.
It's unclear whether the group has asked the opinion of the octagon girls themselves before potentially depriving them of employment.
The crusade comes just one week after ring girls were not part of an Aussie boxing event.Also on rt.com Sucker punch: Radical feminists KO ring girls, replace with MEN to 'reduce violence against women'
Promoters of the Battle of Bendigo boxing bout, featuring Jeff Horn and Michael Zerafa, replaced ring card women with men, somewhat comically labelled ‘fight progress managers’ after coming under fire from local activists and women’s advocacy groups.
Octagon girls have always been a part of the UFC, traveling with the promotion around the world. Many among them have embarked on modeling and TV careers after being spotted by managers and producers on TV.