MMA in the Olympics?

Mixed Martial Arts has been the fastest growing sport in the last few years thanks to the success and marketing of leagues like the WEC and UFC. With the UFC continuing to move into new markets at a rapid pace the sport of MMA has continued to grow with fans from every corner of the world. With the spread of the sport more and more fans are coming out as well as more and more fighters. As the sport continues to grow and continues to become popular in all areas of the world a need arises. It is a need for an amateur level of the sport to help provide the professional leagues with more talent. Although there are plenty of fighters coming out of NCAA wrestling and other sports the reality is that more and more fighters are starting in MMA but have no place to really develop their full set of skills. This is all about to change however as the first international body for the sport has been created. The International Mixed Martial Arts Federation is the first governing body of MMA to ever be created. It will act like many other governing bodies as it will attempt to standardize the sport in many key aspects. It will look to create one set of rules to be used throughout the world including the contentious issue of PEDs and the testing for PEDs. The IMMAF will also look to establish governing bodies around the world and eventually create a world championship of MMA involving these bodies. With this governing body in place the world of MMA will look to gain recognition through the continued exposure and the standardization of the sport. With the UFC throwing in their support the IMMAF has all of the momentum they need to take their first steps towards their goals. There is one main goal though and that is to make the sport so widespread that it receives a spot in the biggest sports show of them all.

The Olympics are the ultimate tournament for all amateur sports as every 4 years the best of the best get together to compete on the world stage. With the Summer Olympics in London only a few months away the fans will see the lack of Baseball and Softball in the lineup. This means that new sports are being introduced as Golf and Rugby Sevens will enter the 2016 Olympics. It is a rare sight to see new sports introduced as sports need to be eliminated to allow them. It is also tough as these sports need to meet certain requirements to be considered. Although it is an uphill battle for MMA the IMMAF is the beginning of a dream to enter the Olympics in the future, possibly 2024 or 2028. The first step for them will be to create national bodies in a certain number of countries, an Olympic requirement. This is something that IMMAF will look to do immediately as it will become their first priority. Another requirement will be the establishment of a World Championship, a sort of qualifying event for most sports. This will come with the IMMAF after they create the necessary governing bodies to get everything organized. The Olympics are a high goal to aim for with some sports waiting decades to get in even with a lot of support. The biggest obstacle for MMA will be the controversial nature of the sport as many still believe it is barbaric and not for the common person. The Olympics generally hates controversy, even though they get some almost every year even outside of Olympic years, and introducing one of the most contentious sports is something that they will try to avoid. There is some light for the sport though as the popularity is far more widespread than many sports in the Olympics which is a major factor. The more fighters there are from different countries the better the chances the sport has in the Olympics. The IMMAF is a giant step in the right direction and the support of the UFC is a major push with the media power of the promotion behind the governing body. With the support of the UFC you can expect most countries to begin the process of putting in place the national bodies necessary. With the IMMAF fighting for the fastest growing sport in the world anything could be possible and although the Olympics is far off from becoming true there may one day be MMA in the Olympics, just don’t hold your breath if you expect it in the next 20 years.

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