Its been a highly talked about subject in recent weeks, and why wouldn’t it be with the Olympics well underway while grabbing the attention of even the casual sports viewer? Yes I’m speaking on the topic of MMA as an Olympic sport. A topic that is sure to draw controversy from both sides of the debate.
As I see it a sport that definitely has its place among other top billing sports such as hockey, baseball, basketball, and football but NOT as an Olympic sport. The Olympics take place over a two week span once every four years, and while some see this as the perfect opportunity to showcase the worlds fastest growing sport on the biggest scale possible, the fact remains its just not the right fit.
To bring MMA to the Olympics would not only take away from the quality of the sport but also the athletes. The worlds top MMA athletes are professionals who undergo grueling training camps, study their opponents inside and out, even going as far to view hours of video footage on their opponent.
Today’s athletes are bigger stronger and faster than ever, and most if not all cut great amounts of weight leading up to a fight. How can we expect these athletes to fight on multiple occasions over the course of 2 weeks? Look at any recent UFC card, fighters are medically suspended after just 1 fight.
Only on rare occasion does a fighter suffer so little damage to not receive a suspension even if for precautionary reasons. Add to that the Olympics are billed as an “amateur sport” with pros only going in a few select disciplines. Would you want to watch an Olympic MMA event with a bunch of amateurs wearing headgear and shin pads?
It would greatly take away from the integrity of the sport we’ve come to love. Boxing, wrestling, judo, and taekwondo are all disciplines that MMA athletes train and are currently sports included as part of the Olympics, and that’s how it needs to stay, as individual disciplines.
What might be most shocking is that UFC President Dana White has said that he believes in MMA at the Olympics. Hey Dana I guarantee if it were to happen every fighter under contract with the UFC would have the door slammed in their face if they wanted to represent their country.
We all know your ego isn’t going to allow anyone to risk injury at the Olympics, which in turn would cost the UFC countless amounts of money. For instance take any champ or title contender and send them to the Olympics. Oops GSP just blew his knee out again or Dominick Cruz just broke his hand or better yet what if they go and compete against a non UFC athlete and come out on the losing end. Suddenly the credibility of the UFC having the worlds best fighters is compromised.
I know there’s probably not a fighter out there that wouldn’t jump at the opportunity to represent his or her country on a stage as grand as the Olympics, but its just not the rite stage to format such an event. The time frame in which the Olympics take place unfortunately will not allow the fighters or the fans the full benefit of the sport.
Watch this video of Women’s Strikeforce bantamweight champion Ronda “Rowdy” Rousey as she brings judo in to the sport of MMA in devastating fashion.