MMA is applying for Olympic recognition, Mirror Fighting can exclusively reveal.As the Rio Olympics are under starter's orders new martial arts have already been confirmed for Tokyo in 2020.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 Muhammed Ali fighting Anonio Inoki in a boxing ring."It is fantastic to see another MMA core sport welcomed into the Olympics.Like judo, Taekwondo, boxing and wrestling, Karate has very much informed the development of MMA and shares many of its values."Where we're going with UFC, eventually we (MMA) will be part of the Olympics." UFC fighter Dan Henderson said: "As a former Olympian, it would be great to see the sport I love compete at the international level." While the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is synonymous with MMA for many, the amateur governing body for the sport is the International Mixed Martial Arts Federation (IMMAF) - and the group already has Olympic recognition among half of its 58 members.
Now it is confirmed that Karate will join Taekwondo, Judo, boxing and fencing in the Olympic pantheon of martial arts and wrestling will also return.UFC co-owner Lorenzo Fertitta said: "The Olympics are a business and they want to attract those younger viewers for all these big television deals."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?" The president of the IMMAF is himself a former Olympian."Karate's acceptance by the IOC also gives us hope as IMMAF submits it's application to Sport Accord this month for sport recognition, having exceeded all criteria." A spokesman for the IMMAF said: "Our vision is for Mixed Martial Arts to be recognized as a sport and ultimately become an Olympic sport.
"Becoming an Olympic sport is the ultimate achievement and highest formal recognition possible for any sport. "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.