Will MMA ever be an Olympic sport?

Global popularity and an ancient pedigree make MMA a sensible fit for today’s Olympics. The reasons why it’s not even being considered – too violent? too popular? – are less clear

Gatekeepers charged with determining which sports can qualify for the Olympic programme say they carefully considered mixed martial arts before concluding this month that it isn’t the appropriate time to recognize a worldwide governing body for amateur MMA.

The Global Association of International Sports Federations (GAISF), the umbrella organization for all established sports, informed the International Mixed Martial Arts Federation and the World Mixed Martial Arts Association that one of the oldest sports known to man, popular with spectators as far back as the Ancient Olympic Games (as pankration) and modern audiences alike, would not be granted a two-year provisional term supporting and guiding international federations on the path towards full GAISF membership, a prerequisite for consideration by the International Olympic Committee.

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