The State of Women’s MMA
The State of Women’s MMA
In 2013 when the UFC had its first female fight, I was left feeling mostly underwhelmed. I wasn’t against the idea of women’s MMA, it just seemed like a pointless addition to literally have only a handful of fighters in the division. I also felt that Women’s MMA wasn’t at a skill level that equalled that of the men’s. And I was correct with that assumption for quite some time.
Ronda Rousey held that title for almost 3 years, dominating her competition. It became apparent that no one in the division was near her grappling skill. Women’s MMA was beginning to look like a one woman show and the overall competition was playing catch up. Because of that some people questioned how good Rousey really was, or if her competition just wasn’t good. Then Holly Holm came along and absolutely turned the world of Women’s MMA on its head.
After Holm banished Rousey to the shadow realm, she lost the title to Rousey’s rival Miesha Tate who then got dismantled by Amanda Nunes. So the women’s Bantamweight division now has a pool of fighters, each capable of taking the title.
Current Champion Amanda Nunes has stated she wants to wait until the UFC event in New York to fight Ronda Rousey when she returns to the Octagon. Holly Holm has lost two fights since her iconic head kick knockout of Ronda Rousey. She is in a slump but I don’t see her staying down for long. Miesha Tate is recovering, I want to see her fight Cat Zingano on her return fight. And now we have the introduction of Valentina Shevchenko who catapulted her name into the mix by out striking and out classing Holly Holm in her last fight. The Women’s Bantamweight division is starting to look like the men’s Welterweight division.
On top of this the UFC has added a Women’s Strawweight division where Joanna Jedrzejczyk rules with almost quite literally an iron fist. Her next fight will be against Karolina Kowalkiewicz, and they already have a history together with Kowalkiewicz beating the UFC champion in past kickboxing competitions. Their bout should be a display of high level striking and one that fight fans can not afford to miss. In the division you also have Claudia Gadelha, fan favorite Rose Namajunas and the young and ever improving Paige Vanzant.
The UFC quickly built up their roster of female fighters and built them into legitimate divisions. Women’s MMA as a whole had made leaps and bounds in skill level with female fighters improving and creating high levels of parity and competition. I’m seriously impressed at how quickly the women’s divisions have grown and how much fun the fights have been. The future of Women’s MMA is looking fantastic.
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