Women’s MMA

Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) is considered to be a sport dominated by men because of the combat involved between two contenders which sometimes may involve violence or bloodshed. However, this is not the case as there are women, who apart from being ardent fans of the sport, also participate as contenders for various titles. There are countries that invite women to participate in their MMA events such as Japan but this is not the case in countries such as the United States, where promoters that allow women’s participation can be counted on one hand.

Even though the awareness of women fighters among the fans of the MMA is not as high as that of men, there are some women who have made sure that their presence is felt. They include Ronda Rousey, Megumi Fujii, Cristiane Santos, Gina Carano and Miesha Tate. These women fighters have appeared in a variety of media events which has propelled the presence of women in the MMA circles. The rules that apply to men when involved in the MMA are slightly different from that of women fighters with the major concern being safety.

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Promoters of women’s fights in the MMA especially in the United States at one point reduced the time that a round would last for a fight to three minutes, then later made it five minutes as that of men. Limits were also placed on ground fighting in Japan regarding the amount of time that it would take, which was twenty seconds but this too was abolished. Finally, the weight classes for women fighters differ from those of men in classification as well as weight limits, which have been adopted by a number of promoters.

Furthermore, there are promotion companies that promote these female fighters as their sole clients especially in Japan, but there are also promotion companies that promote men but have some competitions set aside for women interested in participating in the sport. In the United States, there are a number of promoters that invite female fighters to be part of their event and the number is growing steadily as the awareness on their fighting ability also increases among fans.

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Nevertheless, women in other parts of the world who would like to participate in MMA except for those in the United States and Japan are only included in promotions that are held in local areas, unlike their main counterparts. Even so, women’s involvement in the MMA has a lot of speculation hanging over its head with most promoters questioning its relevance as well as level of popularity among fans. There are some observers that view the involvement of women in the MMA as a show and even a topic that should not be discussed further. There have even been times when male fighters have protested their participation in an event because women were involved in the same event, thereby fanning the debate of women’s role in MMA as a professional sport.

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