Since Zuffa (the company that owns the UFC) inked their deal to purchase Strikeforce, their largest competitor, there has been a lot of speculation over what will happen with Strikeforce’s Women’s Mixed Martial Arts Division.
Since Gina Carano won her first MMA fight at Strikeforce, Triple Threat in San Jose, CA on December 8, 2006, the sport has literally blown up! Tons of clothing companies and martial arts outfits have been trying to accommodate female athletes in the sport. However, since its inception, the role of women in mixed martial arts has been a subject of debate. Why? We have no idea! Women have the same right as men to compete in this sport. And, we at Bold are huge fans of the sport. Just look at our last article on the fighters of Cage Candy, here!
Many MMA fighters, especially within the UFC, are opposed to Women’s MMA, including fighters like Matt Hughes and UFC president Dana White. This was never an issue, since Strikeforce was owned and operated by another company until March of 2011. But, there’s been much debate over what will happen with the sport, now that Zuffa holds the keys to its success.
Women’s MMA has been a sport that’s struggled to make up the ground and overall popularity that the men’s side has since it’s US debut in 2006. Some attribute it to modern day chivalry, saying the sport is too rough for women. But, since the MMA industry is really attempting to legalize it in all 50 states, pushing that mixed martial arts are not as dangerous as they are made out to be, this may not be the correct avenue to take.
Sports such as lacrosse, soccer, and even a combat sport like boxing have already taken to female athletes. The sports entertainment industry has been very successful with female wrestlers (and trust me, those women are tough!). So, we at Bold Magazine don’t understand what the hiccup is! There’s no reason that this sport shouldn’t be given the spotlight. You can’t say “it doesn’t sell” when a title fight between Gina Carano and “Cyborg” Santos (two stars in the Strikeforce Women’s Division) had nearly 900,000 viewers watching the fight. And, after bars full of fans were cheering on US Women’s Soccer just a few days ago, there is definitely something to be said about women’s sports and their popularity!
There will always be men who look at female fighters as models with gloves on. But, that’s to be said in any sport. But, with more female athletes coming out of college and playing pro ball, there are definite strides being made. Women’s softball is top rated programming on ESPN. And, the WNBA has started producing incredible talent and sponsorships, nationwide. I’m still a little taken back that most of these teams have male head coaches. But, it’s probably a little premature to have THAT discussion.
As a man writing this post, it’s tough to really get a feel for what women think of this issue. What do you think? Weigh in, below!