I have only heard it talked about in rumor, along with Brazilian Jiujitsu but there is a concrete plan on Olympic MMA. I’ve been wanting to see mixed martial arts or at least some form of it like Sambo or Pankration in the Olympic Games. Well, sort of. The World Mixed Martial Arts Association (WMMAA), will submit its application to the International Olympic Committee in 2017 for MMA to be recognized as an Olympic discipline. They stated that they have all of the documentation ready to proceed with the application. The president stated “We have a very good chance to get a positive response, MMA is now the most popular sport on the planet, there are more than 60 countries in our federation. I believe we have the that MMA will be in the Olympic program in the future, but it is not something achievable in the next year or two.” Since its inception in 2012, the WMMAA has held championships in Europe and around the world. He went on to state that “Unlike boxing we often don’t see top MMA fighters who have embraced the glory of the Olympics.”
We all know that real MMA is a young sport that is not a part of any international amateur multi-games event like the Pan Ams, Asian Games, or the Olympics itself, so we don’t see many fighters with gold medals dangling around their necks. Only a few have gone on to be recognized as world-class athletes in Judo or Wrestling. Most of the MMA fighters who have gone on to become champions have started with Jiujitsu, Muay Thai, or wrestling at a very young age, then later competed in amateur MMA competition to get a shot at the UFC.
There are some notable Olympians who have fought in the UFC like Daniel Cormier. Sara McMann is onne of the best women wrestlers to ever compete in the Octagon and won a silver medal in Olympics in 2004 in Athens. She was one of the most dominant women fighters in MMA who went on to compete for the title against Ronda Rousey. Before her title fight, she had an undefeated record of 7 wins and no losses. One can tell how tough was McMahon as she received a title fight with only seven fights experience and in only her second fight in the UFC. There is Yoel Romero who is one of the best knockout artists in the middleweight division of the UFC today. This Cuban fighter, despite being one of the oldest fighters in the UFC today, is someone to be respected. He has inhuman athleticism. But before starting his wrath in the Octagon the Romero was an accomplished Olympic wrestler. A very current fighter, Henry Cejudo is a flyweight who has fought for the title and is the third Olympic gold medalist in the UFC’s history, and the only flyweight Olympic medalist to ever compete in the Octagon. He won the Olympic gold medal at a young age of 21 in 2008 in Beijing. Ever since then he has proven his skills in the cage and had bagged an undefeated record of ten wins and no losses to earn a title shot against Demetrious Johnson.
Not as current, but equally as important is Matt Lindland who is one of the pioneers of MMA. He co-founded the Team Quest MMA training center in 1999 along with MMA legends Randy Couture and Dan Henderson. Lindland is probably the only MMA fighter who had won an Olympic medal and to have competed in the UFC as a fighter and then also to coach. He had begun to pursue an MMA career before trying a hand in world tournaments. After winning an Olympic silver medal in 2000 in Sydney, he managed to get a shot to fight in the Octagon. With a colorful resume, he was also selected as the world team coach in the year 2013 for US Greco-roman wrestling team. There is Kevin Jackson who is little known in the world of mainstream MMA. But he has achieved a little glory inside the Octagon as well as international wrestling competitions. Nicknamed as the ‘Lighting’, he was quite outstanding amongst his peers. Jackson won his Olympic gold medal in 1992 in Barcelona and additionally has also won two gold medals in the World Championships and the Pan Ams.
Very current and very famous is Ronda Rousey. She is very vocal about being opposed the stereotypes of having male dominant figures in combat sports and is now one of the biggest draws in the Octagon as per UFC President Dana White. Rousey was the inaugural UFC Bantamweight champion and went on to defend the championship six times setting a record in the female division. Her mother taught her Judo since she was a kid and helped her on her way up to win the Olympic Bronze Medal at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. She has the art of Judo in her blood and that what caused her to be the ‘Arm Collector’ in the cage. With a movie involving his life, Mark Shultz also fought in the UFC. The Schultz brothers are two of the best wrestlers in the American history. Wrestling was in the man’s blood and so was in his brother, Dave’s. The duo both bagged Gold medals in 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles. After a long retirement of 8 years from the wrestling mat, Schultz decided to try his skills in the Octagon. He entered the cage to face Gary Goodridge and won the match via TKO. In 1991, Mark Schultz along with Lee Kemp and John Smith achieved a record for “The most world titles won by a U.S. wrestler” and were entered in the Guinness Book of Records. To be a complete grappler he excelled in the art of Brazilian jiu-jitsu and received his black belt under Pedro Sauer.