Mixed Martial Arts action could soon be featuring in the Olympics if the International Mixed Martial Arts Federation (IMMAF) has its way. While it looks unrealistic of seeing the combat sport in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, the 2024 summer Olympics could be a realistic target.
It all depends on the hosts of the 2024 event now, which is set to be announced in an International Olympic Committee Session in Lima, Peru, in September next year. Karate will be joining the range of combat sports from Judo to Taekwondo and from boxing to wrestling. While the interest for these combat sports has risen steadily now, one can only hope that MMA could also set for a debut in the sporting event in years to come.
"The Olympics are a business and they want to attract those younger viewers for all these big television deals," said UFC Chairman Lorenzo Fertitta to the Mirror. "Where we're going with UFC, eventually we (MMA) will be part of the Olympics."
Plenty of UFC fighters had made it big in the Olympics before stamping their dominance in the world of MMA -- from Ronda Rousey, bronze medallist in judo in 2008 Olympics to Sara McCann, silver medallist in freestyle wrestling in 2004 Olympics.
"Our vision is for Mixed Martial Arts to be recognised as a sport and ultimately become an Olympic sport," stated an IMMAF spokesman. "Becoming an Olympic sport is the ultimate achievement and highest formal recognition possible for any sport. Hence that is what the IMMAF will strive towards.
"We see that the challenges for MMA are great today, but so are the opportunities, and the IMMAF should not have any lesser ambition for MMA than this. When the IMMAF formulates goals, strategies and tactics over the coming years they will need to pass the test – will this be an instrument in fulfilling the organisation's vision?"