MMA, or Mixed Martial Arts is catching on all over the world. There has been talks, mostly by UFC president Dana White, about trying to get it recognized as an official Olympic sport. While this still appears to be a long way off, here are the top five reasons why MMA should be an Olympic sport:
- 1. Wide range of countries - Yes Brazil and USA are stacked with a large volume of the top fighters, but Russia, Netherlands Canada, Japan, Croatia, Korea and the UK all have top-tier fighters and that's just in the UFC. MMA is recognized all over the world and many countries would be well represented in an Olympic tournament. Depending on how the scoring system works, it could be anyone to win.
- 2. Fantastic demonstration of pure strength - Rather than some Olympic sports that require the participants to be really good at one very specific activity or motion. To be a really good Mixed Martial arts fighter you need to be in incredible all round shape and have a lot of skills. MMA fighters are known to have extremely tough work out programs and dietary disciplines. MMA fighter's workout programs are designed to work on their skills in boxing, grappling, ground fighting, as well as attributes like overall stamina, power, and reaction. MMA training is only improving. One can tell that today's fighters are the best yet, but the best fighters are still ahead of us.
- 3. Less wealth required - Having said that, since fighting can be practiced anywhere without much equipment, MMA as a Olympic sport would have a fairly level playing field between rich and poor countries. This would open it up to classic Olympic stories of athletes coming out of 3rd world countries and making a go at it once the sport catches on there.
- 4. No Steroids - MMA leagues like the UFC already have very stringent anti-PED policies in place, so there would be less controversy here than in many other sports these days.
- 5. Devoted following of fans - As mentioned, MMA is the fastest growing sport out there. It already has large following all over the world, and putting it on the world-stage would be a natural fit and help take it to the next level.
Here's hoping that sometime in the near future fighters from all over the world can be united, with the unique competitive spirit of MMA training, combined with the legendary Olympic spirit.