Mixed Martial Arts sport has seen very fast growth in popularity around the globe for the last two decades. For UFC President Dana White, there are no hurdles to putting MMA in the Olympic Games.
MMA has been growing really fast around the world. In some places, the sport even has surpassed its older brother, boxing, in popularity.
But regardless, MMA is still considered a controversial sport by some with more conservative views. That surely halted the sport to be accepted more widely by the mainstream audience.
However, UFC President Dana White believes that MMA should be accepted into the Olympics soon. He also argues that MMA can help the Olympics to gain more attraction due to the sport’s fanatic fanbase.
“I think it should be an Olympic sport already. It’s not my job, it’s not what I’m looking to do. I’m not pushing to turn this thing into an Olympic sport. And I agree with whoever said that, yes, and not to mention one of the big problems the Olympics is having right now is viewership. You want viewers? Put MMA in the Olympics.” White said in a fan Q&A session for UFC 275.
While White admitted that he isn’t the one that going to push MMA into the Olympics, there is another organization that fits the bill.
The International Mixed Martial Arts Federation is an amateur MMA organization that holds various events throughout the years. They have been developing the required amateur framework for MMA to be considered for the Olympics since 2012.
UFC, as the market leader of MMA, also contributed to the creation of IMMAF. Former UFC CEO Lorenzo Fertitta said this regarding the formation back in 2012:
“In order to maintain the successful growth of our sport, it is important to invest in resources that will develop and cultivate it at an amateur level. Having an umbrella organization that will oversee and help build the sport on a global level will not only provide advanced and ever-improving safety standards but will also create a unified global model to help introduce the sport to new markets. It is our hope that it will also take us one step closer to witnessing the inclusion of the sport of MMA on the Olympic program.”
While it appears that MMA in the Olympics is still far from happening, with the steady progress of the IMMAF, that might be closer than we thought.
But of course there’s plenty of issues along the line.