MMA as an Olympic sport is one of those things that seems to get brought up by someone in a high profile position in the MMA world at least once a year. The subject came up again earlier this week in Singapore when the UFC's managing director of Asia Pacific, Mark Fischer talked to Reuters.
"Yes we do believe that MMA should be in the Olympics given its prominence as a sport all over the world," Fischer told Reuters in Singapore after announcing that the first UFC show in the city-state would take place on January 4
"Mixed martial arts, under the global leadership of UFC and us really inspiring and pushing the envelope, I think has a great chance to become an Olympic sport because it is participated now by countries literally all over the world.
"Because of the interest, because of the investment now the startups, gyms, promotions etc that are going into mixed martial arts, then we are very confident that we are going to have the weight behind this movement to be in the Olympics."
Personally, I just can't see it. The rules would have to be modified so much that I don't think it would be nearly as compelling as some seem to think.
Even minor strikes like leg kicks are odd to think about in terms of an Olympic tournament. A guy taking leg kicks in 4-5 fights over a week long period is going to be in absolute hell.
It also would seem, in a sports climate becoming all too aware of the risks of brain trauma, that fighting will be moved away from the games. Boxing is still an Olympic sport and they have some exciting rule changes for 2016, eliminating head gear, adding a 10 point must system in place of the horrible computerized scoring, allowing pros with up to 15 fights to compete..etc. But this more "pro style" approach seems like it's amping up the risks for fighters.
Tournaments over short periods that involve the brain getting jostled will likely be done away with eventually. Submission grappling still remains a much better fit for the games.
The fact that WADA and USADA criticized the UFC for not having testing run through stricter guidelines came up as well. Fischer had a strange response to that:
"First of all, we follow WADA and on top of that we have actually in the last couple of years have instituted our own extra level of testing for PEDs (performance enhancing drugs)...So we are actually more strict now than WADA"
The only thing that needs to be mentioned here is that WADA's allowed testosterone to epitestosterone is 4:1, a level -- unless I'm mistaken -- which is lower than the UFC has ever had set for fights other than the very small amount of bouts where testing was overseen by VADA.