They should eliminate all (unarmed) combat sports from the Olympics & replace them with 3 events:
1- Unified striking rules
2- Unified grappling rules
3- Amateur MMA rules
But prior to that the whole world have to agree on unified rules and host national, regional, continental then world tournaments.
Is ALL that possible NO
Well, in this case we wouldn't be able to expect it any time soon. But with the growing popularity of combat sports, it at least seems feasible we might be able to expect a greater inclusion within the next 10-20 years.
Honestly the combat sports that are likeliest to get added to the Olympics are probably kickboxing, muay thai, and sanda. All three are large, well organized sports with fairly consistent rule sets that are used across multiple countries. Figuring out which one is likeliest means taking a close look at the Olympic criteria as well as using some common sense regarding what the IOC is going to want to see.
Kickboxing is, IMO, probably the least likely sport of the three to be inducted into the Olympics. While it is a very popular sport with great universality due to the variety of included styles, it has no single world governing body, unless you count the IKF, which has a history only going back to 1992. It is also a very hard contact sport, which is not likely to go over well with the IOC. They like TKD because of its safety track record and the large amount of protective equipment.
Muay Thai has an excellent chance of eventually becoming an international sport if they can get the other SE Asian countries on board. Muay Thai is an event at the Southeast Asian Games, although Myanmar refused to participate at least once due to the name of the event. (Interesting side note: Wushu, Vovinam, Arnis, Karate, Kenpo and Pencak Silat are also hosted at the SEA Games.) I don't know of any single international federation for Muay Thai.
It also has the tradition and history part down pat. In addition, despite the relatively violent nature of the fighting and the lack of additional safety gear the rate of injury among Thai fighters is surprisingly low.
This brings us to San Da/San Shou. I'm going to include le tai matches as part of the tradition and history and say this probably has as much as Muay Thai does. It has the International Wushu Federation, which admittedly is barely older than the IKF, though it is recognized by the IOC and is affiliated with the World Anti-Doping Agency. It has an established world cup with a fair amount of international competitors, including a non-Chinese King of Sanda. There is also the amount of safety equipment. San shou is the only sport of these three that requires head gear and body protectors.
I suspect from looking at these that either Muay Thai or San Shou will eventually be an Olympic sport, and that San Shou would come through it with the fewest changes. It already has the protective equipment they are likely to require and its federation has already done the sucking up to the IOC necessary to get it considered. On the other hand Muay Thai is already a competitive sport at an international games competition that is affiliated with and partially supervised by the IOC.
Either way the first Olympics to include either of these is going to be absolutely kickass.
How about an Olympics Just For Combat Sports:
Muay Thai, Sambo, San Da, Karate, Judo, Wrestling, Sumo, Grappling, Pankration, Kendo, Boxing etc... all in one event sanctioned under the International Olympic Committee.
Best part is the Organizing committee of the games payed for the airfare and housing for all qualified athletes, at least for the FILA Wrestling, Grappling and Pankration. The next one is in 2013 in Russia and FILA should also have MMA in addition to Wrestling, Grappling and Pankration.
Worst part, no media interest what so ever in the United States!!!
... you know for the most part, I'm really over the Olympics. Don't get me wrong, there are some events which I'm quite interested is watching. Some team events will still go really good and get better each year.
But for the vast majority, there's just too much money and politics in it. And in some cases, it ruins sports.
Yeah, for the most part the Olympics get interest for only one month every couple of years (at least in America, not sure about the rest of the world). But as has been said previously, sanctioning by the IOC does lend a lot of credibility to a sport. If for no more reason than this, I would like to see a greater concentration of combat sports in the Olympics.
There are several combat sports included here.
Anyone follow the Asiad, and if so, are any of these worth including?