The Case for Women in the UFC

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MMAcca
10/23/08 1:23:48AM
Years ago, when the UFC was trying to get sanctioned across the country, Dana White decided that having women fight on his show would just create PR nightmares that he didn't need. He may have been right. It's easy to imagine legislators showing pictures of bloody girls in order to fight regulation efforts. Now that the sport is regulated in almost every state, that concern is gone for the most part, but it made no sense until this week for the UFC to even consider a women's division. All of the top and marketable talent was signed elsewhere, and there'd really be no point to starting a women's division that was inferior to the one over at EliteXC.

Over the course of two major CBS shows, Gina Carano established herself as an elite-level draw. Her fights drew over a million new viewers each show, and she does incredible search numbers online. Nobody in the UFC has drawn those kind of TV ratings all year besides Anderson Silva in July.





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Aether
10/23/08 1:47:21AM
I don't know. Gina is a good draw for sure, but the UFC is a real business, they aren't going to try to pull an EliteXC and structure an entire division around one person. I think the real question is can women's MMA _on the whole_ create that kind of interest? I think that the answer is no, not right now at least. Including them in the WEC wouldn't be a bad idea, but I don't think one person having good drawing potential is enough to set up an entire division in the premiere MMA promotion.

If anything they should set up a division in the WEC and see how it affects their ratings in general, including statistics from female fights NOT involving Gina Carano. This way they can get a comprehensive analysis of how the division itself is received, how ratings are effected, etc. I think throwing them directly into the UFC would be a poor business decision.

I'm personally not a big fan of female MMA. I'm not a chauvinist who thinks that women have no place competing in the sport, I just don't personally enjoy watching it for the most part. Gina's fights are entertaining, but the majority of others I have a hard time enjoying.
AchillesHeel
10/23/08 9:12:52AM

Posted by MMAcca

[...]it made no sense until this week for the UFC to even consider a women's division. All of the top and marketable talent was signed elsewhere, and there'd really be no point to starting a women's division that was inferior to the one over at EliteXC.


I disagree with the assertion here that the women EliteXC had signed constituted a good, competitive division. If anything, EliteXC illustrated how little depth there is on the women's side of the sport right now. With SmackGirl, Fatal Femmes, and the American Fight League, EliteXC had the weakest group of women fighters in the sport. Tara Laros, Amanda Buckner, Laura D'Auguste, Takayo Hashi, Hitomi Akano, Roxanne Modafferi,

Of course, none of those fighters is a 140-lb fighter; they're all 135-lb fighters. The women's weight classes with any depth are 105 lbs, 115 lbs, and 135 lbs, and Carano is a 145-150 lb fighter who essentially represents her own weight class. She has very little competition, except perhaps for Cristiane Santos.

Carano should sign with the AFL and hopefully she'll get a match with Tara Larosa that we'll be able to see.
Branwest
10/23/08 12:14:29PM
Dana has already said that he won't have them in the UFC. The women's division does need more development, but the WEC is a perfect venue for women's fighting, especially since they dropped the heavier weight classes. Dana is a smart businessman, and he knows that Gina is a serious draw for viewership. The WEC may even get a better TV deal then the one they currently have with Versus. I'd like to see them in the WEC and change the rounds from 3 minutes to either 4 or 5. Personally, I think it should be 4 because they tend to get winded easier than the men, and they go at it so hard sometimes, that 5 minutes may be too much.
If they choose not to put them in the WEC, somebody else will be smart enough to pick them up, whether its Strikeforce of Affliction. I still want to see Gina vs. Cyborg.
I also think that putting them on TV more, will help draw more women to the sport, and eventually help build the weight classes up. It's hard, though, to find many women in Gina's weight class. Most are much lighter. If they do put them in the WEC, they'll be credited for helping the women's division become what it will eventually be, in about 3 or 4 years.
MMAcca
10/23/08 1:04:19PM
Now that EXC has folded we will all get to see how seriously Gina Carano is about having a future in MMA because i doubt if anybody else will create a new weight class for her, so she will most likely have to compete in 135.
StriderXero
10/23/08 1:49:10PM
I think they should have a female TUF. Seriously, it's not like there aren't any good female fighters. They just need to find them. There could be a dozen unknown fighters like Gina Carano, Cyborg, Megumi Fujii, Yuka Tsuji, or Michelle Waterson. There could even be female fighters like Anderson Silva, BJ Penn, Fedor, or GSP.

I say go out and find them, and market them well.
MMAcca
10/23/08 1:50:29PM

Posted by StriderXero

I think they should have a female TUF. Seriously, it's not like there aren't any good female fighters. They just need to find them. There could be a dozen unknown fighters like Gina Carano, Cyborg, Megumi Fujii, Yuka Tsuji, or Michelle Waterson. There could even be female fighters like Anderson Silva, BJ Penn, Fedor, or GSP.

I say go out and find them, and market them well.



Somebody mentioned this in another thread and 100%

Dana should do it soon too. TUF 10: The Females
bullettdodger
10/24/08 5:23:12PM

Posted by StriderXero

I think they should have a female TUF. Seriously, it's not like there aren't any good female fighters. They just need to find them. There could be a dozen unknown fighters like Gina Carano, Cyborg, Megumi Fujii, Yuka Tsuji, or Michelle Waterson. There could even be female fighters like Anderson Silva, BJ Penn, Fedor, or GSP.

I say go out and find them, and market them well.



The best worded post on woman's MMA i've read to date. An all female tuf would really make my day/week/month/year
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