Women’s MMA: I was wrong


Written by: Lance Edwards

Fifteen years ago I went to see some friends fight on a kickboxing card. One of the fights was a women’s Muay Thai bout. I remember it well, because it influenced my thinking. After the bell rang both women threw front kicks, exchanged punches, and then one of them leg kicked the other. At that moment I saw the will to fight drain from the receiver of the kicks face; she backed off, got hit a couple more times, and folded under a flurry of blows. I remember thinking to myself that I wasn’t ever interested in seeing a bout between two women. Since then I’ve trained with a few female fighters, but never had any interest in watching women fight. How wrong I was!

Cyborg Santos vs. Gina Carrano had interest from all sorts of media coverage; they were even talking about the fight on the radio. Gina had those beautiful girl next door, American sweetheart looks, and Cyborg had the intensity of a beast, I clicked on videos of her training and was spellbound, she showed a training intensity of a professional athlete, driving herself on, pushing her limits of strength and endurance. I decided I would watch the fight, and after a hiccup, as my satellite provider didn’t have it scheduled, I ended up at a friend’s house to watch it. Anyone reading this knows the result, the dominant Santos won a convincing victory; my interest was piqued.

YouTube is a fantastic thing, I love it, thanks to this site we can watch fights from fighters who before we wouldn’t have been able to watch. The Internet has been a huge component in raising the knowledge of fans and hype of fighters. With my new found interest in women’s MMA it was the perfect resource, and what’s more I discovered a wealth of great fights. Women’s MMA it turned out was far from boring, with many of the fighters being technically skilled and incredibly game.

Although women’s MMA is still not headlining many events, the WEC considered having women’s bouts, but then decided against it. Strikeforce is the lead organization in women’s mma with the fall of EliteXC, and currently have Erin Toughill signed for a seven fight deal with her sights set on Christine ‘Cyborg’ Santos. Toughill, known to the public as Steel from American Gladiators and trainer at Xtreme Couture, debuted in MMA back in September 1999, and has also had a pro-boxing career.

On July23rd, undefeated Sarah Kaufman (11-0) faces another popular female fighter on ShoMMA, the Strikeforce contender’s organization. Kaufman is a dominant force in female MMA at present having won her first seven fights by knockout. Bellator too has been adding a number of excellent female fighters to their ranks. The shocking defeat of my fellow Brit (a doctor of engineering who is studying for her second doctorate in osteopathy) Rosi Sexton by Zoila “The Warrior Princess” Frausto was certainly not expected. A textbook knee foretells, in my opinion, and extremely exciting women’s tournament starting on August 12 for Bellator.

Women’s MMA doesn’t have the stable of fighters men’s MMA has, but with a rise in popularity of the sport more women are training and in the next few years we are going to see a rise in the number of good female fighters. Ring of Fire, the Colorado based fight org, has some excellent up-and coming female fighters including their 125lb champion Cat Albert. Albert originated in wrestling, but has become a well rounded fighter. Vegas based Tough-N-Uff is another show with a number of excellent female fighters just starting their career. This promotion often features fighters from Xtreme Couture, and includes Playboy Centerfold Latasha Marzolla amongst their fighters.

If you prefer to see fights live, which I for one love to, Houston based Legacy Fighting Championship recently featured 2 women’s bouts in their first Muay Thai show back in April. These fights featured local talents Jhin Yu, Roxanne Cardona (Kru Pong’s), Roxy Adams RSKA and Jessica Castillo (Hoger MMA). Legacy has also tried several times in the past 12 months to have women’s MMA bouts as well, only to see them fall through for one reason or another. Perhaps the most notable name among the women’s MMA fighters is Jennifer Scott, regarded by many to be the best pound for pound women’s fighter in the city.

When it comes to women’s MMA, I for one am hooked.

Lance Edwards About The Author

At the age of 11, British born Lance joined the boy scouts and had his first experience of a three round boxing match, never having worn gloves or trained before, needless to say he was pummelled around the ring. This started his love of combat sports and martial arts. Having trained and lived in a number of countries in Europe, Asia and of course the US, Lance’s lack of skill and ability to pick up bizarre and unusual training injuries, led to him developing just enough cardio to master the use of a keyboard. Still training in the hope of honing his skills to a level higher than pathetic, Lance trained in the UK as a psychologist, and has written for UK based Martial Arts Illustrated magazine, and Fighters Only website.