Posted by Joshua Molina @JoshMolina
Award-winning journalist. Covers mixed martial arts and professional wrestling and the convergence of the two industries.
Joshua Molina

Will Ronda Rousey one day return to the Olympics? Could Nate Diaz win a gold medal? Might we see Brock Lesnar become the first man to hold the WWE championship, UFC championship, and medal at the Olympic Games? It could happen.

The International Mixed Martial Arts Federation (IMMAF) has submitted an application for Olympic recognition.

"Our vision is for Mixed Martial Arts to be recognized as a sport and ultimately become an Olympic sport," according to a spokesman for the IMMAF, reported by mirror.co.uk. "Becoming an Olympic sport is the ultimate achievement and highest formal recognition possible for any sport. Hence that is what the IMMAF will strive towards.

"We see that the challenges for MMA are great today, but so are the opportunities, and the IMMAF should not have any lesser ambition for MMA than this. When the IMMAF formulates goals, strategies and tactics over the coming years they will need to pass the test – will this be an instrument in fulfilling the organisation’s vision?"

While MMA has enjoyed mainstream acceptance, it still suffers from a stigma of violence and brutality that other combat sports do no. Although many of the disciplines of MMA are already in the Olympics - boxing, wrestling, taekwondo, judo and soon karate - the sight of an MMA fighter slapping on a rear naked choke or performing a ground and pound on an opponent will likely be tough for people to overcome when voting on the sport.

After all, MMA was only legalized in New York earlier this year.

The president of the IMMAF is a former Olympic bronze medal winner in judo. As an elite level judoka, Kerrith Brown has represented Great Britain to win championship medals across various international platforms, including a bronze medal at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics.

“I’ve always had a love of combat sports, going back to the days of watching mixed martial arts as far back as Muhammad Ali fighting Antonio Inoki in a boxing ring," Brown told The Mirror.

“Obviously, it interests me as an ex competitor, having competed and medalled at European, World and Olympic levels. “Judo is renowned for being a well structured organization through the IJF (International Judo Federation) and EJU (European Judo Union) and its national federations. When I was chairman of British Judo, our governance structure was of a good standard and I like to think that’s what I can bring over to MMA.”