Well, that is just as likely to happen as MMA getting into the Olympics in the first place.
I am a huge fan of MMA but that does not make me delusional about the chances of mainstream MMA being truly legitimized and becoming an Olympic sport. I would like to see it just as much as anyone else but it isn’t happening.
Not now, not in 10 years, never.
Let’s put the acceptance of MMA in perspective. MMA isn’t even fully sanctioned across one of the more liberal free market countries in the world – Canada. This is the same country that said yes to legalizing marijuana and was one of the first countries to support gay marriages. This is an early adopter country but when it comes to MMA they remain on the sidelines (say it with me “we’re high, we’re gay, but MMA no way!”).
Many of the elements of MMA are already represented at the Olympics and the easiest comparison that the optimists would use in support of the theory that MMA will one day make an appearance is boxing. Yes, boxing is an Olympic sport and has been a mainstay since 1920 but look at what they have done to the sport of boxing as we know it in our pay-per-view lives. Start with the protective equipment they wear that includes bulky headgear and a baggy tank top would normally be the shirt reserved for a Sunday afternoon beer on the front porch. The real kicker is the scoring system that decides the victor. It counts punches. Yes, every little jab that the majority of the judges agreed was a punch that landed gets you a click on the wheel and closer to a gold medal. Come to think of it, they could just have the boxers play a round robin tournament of Wii boxing with the winner taking gold – same idea.
If MMA was to make its Olympic debut you could anticipate it wouldn’t look like the MMA you know and love – be it UFC, Affliction, EliteXC or other. Fedor would enter the ring wearing an inflated air bag around his head for protection, heavily padded boxing gloves and Uggs on his feet for a softer kick.
The point system would follow these guidelines:
- Superman punch – 2 points
- Knee to head – loss of 2 points (You think they are going to allow a knee to the head in the Olympics?)
- Arm bar escape – 1 point
- Rear naked choke – disqualification
I can remember when bodybuilding was rumored to be an upcoming Olympic sport. That may be the one sport that is further from Olympic acceptance than MMA.
My advice to MMA athletes looking for an Olympic medal opportunity, take up rhythmic gymnastics. There is a mat and you throw things around so there are some similarities. I can picture Tim Sylvia now…