Why MMA in the Olympics Would Never Work
MMA fighters carry themselves with such a great deal of pride that one would think most of them would jump at the chance to represent their country in the Olympics.
Think of the captivating scene as Jon Jones enters the cage with his USA shorts. Standing across from Jones with the flag of the Netherlands on his trunks is Gegard Mousasi.
Fans would see matchups they may not otherwise see, and the world would get a glimpse into the sport that many of us have fallen in love with over the last two decades.
Are you excited about MMA in the Olympics?
Well, don't get your hopes up because it will never work.
The most comparable sport to MMA currently in the Olympics is boxing. Even that is a reach.
Boxing works because the judges are able to give points for successful strikes. The fighter with the most points (unless it is decided by knockout) wins the fight.
In MMA there are too many variables that determine the outcome of a fight. Most of the action that takes place inside the cage can't be scored. This is one reason why we see so many bad decisions year-in and year-out.
It has been proven that MMA is a safer sport than boxing. That does not hold true in the Olympic format, however. Boxers wear headgear for Olympic bouts and most of the fights go the distance and are decided by points.
While headgear is worn in various MMA promotions throughout the country, it changes certain aspects of the ground game. So much so that most professional fighters would not want to wear it.
Will we ever see MMA in the Olympics?
At the end of each UFC fight, fighters are automatically suspended for 14 days due to precautionary reasons. It would be irresponsible for the Olympic Committee to expect an MMA fighter to take on more than one fight within a two-week span.
Given the pace of the Olympics and depending on how many MMA participants are involved, there would not be enough recovery time between fights to complete any sort of Olympic format.
The sport of MMA has developed dramatically over the last 10 years, but there isn't great competition in every part of the world. If MMA were to be an Olympic sport we would potentially see very one-sided matchups that may be dangerous for certain fighters.
Perhaps the biggest reason MMA in the Olympics will never happen is because the world's best MMA fighters are not going to detour from their professional careers to train for a series of fights that won't pay them anything.
It's not just the fights at the Olympic games. These fighters would also have to qualify for the Olympics through tournaments just like the other sports, which would take even more time away from their paying jobs.
The thought of MMA in the Olympics is exciting, but the execution of it so difficult that it will never come to fruition.
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