UFC Hint at Future Olympics Involvement

August 30, 2013

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) has hinted at possible future involvement in the Olympics but admit it may be a while before Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) they get inducted.

UFC’s Managing director of Asia Pacific Mark Fischer believes an Olympic place might only be 20 years away thanks to the work of his organization in growing the sport and the introduction of the fledgling International Mixed Martial Arts Federation (IMMAF)

He told Reuters: “Yes we do believe that MMA should be in the Olympics given its prominence as a sport all over the world.

“Mixed martial arts, under the global leadership of UFC and us really inspiring and pushing the envelope, I think has a great chance to become an Olympic sport because it is participated now by countries literally all over the world.

“Because of the interest, because of the investment now the startups, gyms, promotions etc that are going into mixed martial arts, then we are very confident that we are going to have the weight behind this movement to be in the Olympics.”

One of the fastest growing sports in the world, MMA is a full contact sport that allows fighters to utilize techniques from both striking and grappling martial arts such as boxing, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, Muay Thai, wrestling and judo.

The sport is extremely popular in the United States, Brazil, Japan and Canada and the IMMAF, founded in 2012, say they have 21 member federations on board with that number expected to reach 40 by next year.

Fischer, who previously worked with the NBA in growing their business in China, did also stipulate the possible induction intothe Olympics is not a necessity.

“Do we need it? No, we are going to survive and continue to grow. Would it help to put us on that next level of interest and really capture everybody’s imagination and understanding? I think it would help tremendously. But we are talking about theoreticals.”

One stumbling for the UFC should they seek Olympic involvement is their drug testing policy which was scrutinised by the World Anti Doping Agency (WADA), United States Anti Doping Agency (USADA) for not seeking their council and administering theor own testing of athletes.

Fischer was adamant the UFC was clean and their methods above board.

“First of all, we follow WADA and on top of that we have actually in the last couple of years have instituted our own extra level of testing for PEDs [performance enhancing drugs],” Fischer said.

“So we are actually more strict now than WADA. It is a very important issue for us, we absolutely want our fighters to be clean and in the octagon competing on a very pure level.”

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