Women’s Boxing/Women’s MMA
NBC sports has a piece on their website by Rick Chandler entitled The Beatdown: The Future of Women’s MMA that’s plain old got me down. I admit that I’m new to MMA — and while I’ve done the odd piece about it, I haven’t got much experience with the sport and only watch it occasionally on television when there’s no boxing on. That’s usually meant catching part of a Strikeforce fight card on Showtime.
What had struck me about Strikeforce was the fact that there is always at least one women’s bout on the card, not to mention the seeming popularity of the women’s bouts. Just this weekend I watched the Women’s Welterweight Championship bout between Marloes “Rumina” Coenen and Miesha “Takedown” Tate. Tate pulled out a convincing upset win over Coenen — and again, as a novice to watching the sport with about zero understanding of the politics of Strikeforce, et al, found it to be quite an interesting addition to the world of women’s sports in general.
With Chandler’s piece, however, come all sorts of questions as to whether women’s participation in the sport of MMA will continue at all — or as Chandler writes will “the answer … be found by simply looking at women’s boxing. Wait is there still women’s boxing?”
Ugh! What!?! Is there still women’s boxing? Pa-lease!
Chandler’s thesis is that with Strikeforce’s recent sale to Zuffa (the UFC’s parent company), a situation may have been set up whereby the Strikeforce roster will be swallowed up by the UFC and the women’s roster jettisoned in the process. Chandler further opines that the UFC doesn’t have the same interest in the women’s side of the sport as Strikeforce because there aren’t enough “stars” if you will, with the name recognition to draw in the crowds.
So what it boils down to (I think) is this:
a. Strikeforce found it to be “good” business to develop male and female talent and as such has found success and a growing *interest* in women’s MMA bouts and the fighters who compete in them. (I’ll add that I’ve been applauding them all along and — how sad is this — tauting them as a model of inclusion because they televise women’s bouts!)
b. Along comes UFC and the potential for jettisoning the women’s roster of the “old” Strikeforce and a repositioning of the brand towards a more exclusively male roster. Hmm… no longer good business???
c. It’s the fault of women’s MMA (women’s boxing … and women’s sports in general) for not engendering (pun intended) enough interest in women’s athletics, because (1) women fighters are not attractive when they beat the crap out of each other and (2) to quote Chandler again, “the appeal for the best female fight is not as high as for just an average male fight in the sport. If you’re not attracting eyeballs, it’s harder to stay in business. Being included with a primarily male organization was a huge bonus for the women.”
So back to the contradiction again. If women’s MMA was so horrible why buy Strikeforce in the first place?!?
I don’t know about you, but I find this logic to be very twisted indeed. And P.S. — in watching the Tate-Coenen fight I didn’t think about gender, I thought about fighting! Was it interesting? Were they skilled? Weaknesses/strengths and so on.
If a fighter has the courage to put herself in the ring why should it matter how big her breasts are or whether she has a cute booty! A fight is a fight. Put Torres-Nava I or II up against any fight card from over this past weekend and what will you come up with in terms of skills, heart, stamina and to use the word again pure courage. I can tell you the answer, none.
All I can say at this point is GRRRRRRR.
And please, feel free to opine away!