In a few weeks the 2012 Summer Olympics will begin to unfold, and it should be an epic sporting event that features several sporting competitions. Unfortunately for MMA fans, there is one sport that won't be featured. Mixed Martial Arts.
The idea of the sport being completely replicated in the Olympics is implausible due to the world's top fighters being contracted by MMA promotions.
Even if the contracts are taken out of play, it still isn't realistic to have a multi-man tournament in a few weeks. Professional fights are dangerous and lead to injury. Medical suspensions wouldn't be a possibility, they would be a guarantee. For evidence, take a look at the eight man 2011 Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix that ended in 2012.
There would also be a lack of competition. Mixed Martial Arts is a young sport, and it would likely be dominated by Brazil, USA, and the UK. There would be enough representatives from various countries around the world, but the bouts would be complete miss-matches.
Despite all of the reasons against Mixed Martial Arts becoming an Olympic sport, I still believe that MMA should be represented at the greatest sporting event in the world.
Although a lot of the luster would be lost, the only possible way for MMA to be an event in the Olympics is if the bouts were contested under amateur rules. Headgear, shorter rounds, and larger gloves should lessen the probability of injuries.
The bouts would appear more like a sparring session in the gym then a professional fight that would shorten an athlete's career and bankroll. It would also make it possible for top fighters to compete.
As far as an Olympic Trials go, the most injury-free and realistic way to conduct them is to have a try-out similar to the opening episode of some of the earlier Ultimate Fighter seasons where the fighter are evaluated by a series of work-outs in the gym.
A lot of fighters who had given up on their Olympic dream to compete in Mixed Martial Arts would have a second chance of achieving their dream by competing in the MMA in the Summer Olympics.
Below is a list of hypothetical Team of MMA fighters for various countries that represent each weight class from heavyweight to bantamweight. It's unrelated, but I didn't really know where to put it. I also have it in the way I would rank them.
Here's a hypothetical Light Heavyweight tournament:
Jon Jones (USA) vs Ben Reiter (Peru)
Jan Blachowicz (Poland) vs Christian M' Pumbu (Republic of Congo)
Mauricio Rua (Brazil) v Tatsuya Mizuno (Japan)
Ryan Jimmo (Canada) v James Te Huna (Australia)