Connect with us


Will MMA ever be a part of the Olympic Games?

Over the years, mixed martial arts (or MMA) has dominated the sports world. Companies like the UFC and Bellator MMA have proved that to be the case. The sport is celebrated around the world, with a wide array of individuals competing inside the octagon. Its only a matter of time then for the sport to be featured on the true grandest stage of them all, right (no, not WrestleMania)?

I believe MMA may become a sport in the Olympics sooner rather than later. There are various factors that increase and decrease its chances in making it one day. Think of this as a good cop, bad cop scenario. Lets look at both sides of the coin:

MMA combines the skills of boxing, wrestling, judo and taekwondo into the sport. Conveniently enough, those sports have been involved in the Olympics one way or another. Karate will join the Olympics in 2020 when it heads to Japan.

With today’s generation fixing to find the next big thing to watch, MMA might have some momentum on that end. UFC CEO Lorenzo Fertitta explained to Yahoo Sports why MMA would eventually have a place in the Olympics. He stated:

“There’s no question that the Olympics are a business and they have to focus on [adding] sports that are popular from a television viewing standpoint for the ratings. We’ve proven that MMA works extremely well on television. Over time, I think they’ll take a very close look at it.”

On the other side of the coin…

There may be an issue with athletes and their durability. The Olympics are generally about two weeks, with many events going on. Athletes train 4+ years / their entire lives in order to compete for days. Fighters in the UFC train hard for months for one event, heal and then fight again months later. In order for the sport to become a reality at the Olympics, one of these might happen:

1)   Shorter rounds or and extended, one round fight

2)   An athlete would just have to fight on through the pain

The former sounds more realistic and that is what might need to happen to make this dream a reality. It would be interesting to see how certain fighters react to limiting themselves in fights in order to test their limits later on. With pride for ones country on the line, anything is possible.

Injuries (discussing the latter of the two above) are also a huge factor. While boxing is a contact sport, MMA requires a lot more movement from your body in order to perform. Broken noses, ribs, wrists and ankles are all battle wounds as a result of the sport. It is unknown how long it would take for an athlete to heal in a short period of time, let alone be cleared to continue after. That is definitely something the sport would have to worry about.

It took years for MMA just to start having events in New York. One would assume it would take a while for the sport to invade the Olympics. If the US was to host the Olympics at any time after 2020, there may be a chance for it to happen. MMA is very popular over here, which could help it gain momentum. Fans can make petitions while athletes will most likely utilize social media for the cause.

Only time will tell if the IOC will take the ultimate gamble and add MMA into the Olympics. While the risks may be enormous, the rewards could level it out.

What do you think?

The following two tabs change content below.
Baseball Editor, Misc. Sports Editor. Covers all things combat sports (MMA, Pro Wrestling and Boxing). When he's not writing, Daniel hosts a podcast, The Main Event.
Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

More in Feature