In February 2013, Ronda Rousey and Liz Carmouche made history as the 1st two women to fight in the vaunted Octagon of the UFC, a true moment in history that changed the world of mixed martial arts. It wasn’t something many ever expected to see since UFC President Dana White not long before had shot down the idea of women competing in the octagon anytime a reporter stuck a microphone or camera in his face.
Here we are eight short years later and today some of the biggest stars in the promotion are women! These women I speak of all have one thing in common, they can fight! They are not here because of their looks, however, some do use their looks to brand themselves and grow their fanbase outside of the octagon, make no mistake these women are fighters through and through, and are more than willing to prove it on fight night.
This weekend Angela “Overkill” Hill will main event a fight night card along with Michelle “The Karate Hottie” Waterson in Las Vegas. While this is not the first time women have main evented a card, it is the first time an African- American women has taken the headlining spot, and that is a big deal! Hill, earlier this year also was the 1st African-American female fighter to work the post-fight analyst desk.
The influx of talented female athletes that continue to join the UFC roster is beyond impressive. As of right now, there are currently 118 active females spread across four weight classes (Strawweight, Flyweight, Bantamweight, Featherweight) in the Women’s divisions. Some of the most exciting fighters on the roster reside in the women’s divisions, and we need to see more of them, as in today’s matchmaking, we just do not get to see them enough, and we are being cheated to a certain degree from watching impressive athletes compete.
As the roster grows and with the matchmakers trying to get fights put together, it is time for the UFC to consider doing an all-female card if not two or more during the year. The talent is there, but because the matchmaking still concentrates predominantly on the male athletes, the opportunities for the women aren’t as available as they are for their male contemporaries, and that isn’t right for them, or the fans.
Amanda Nunes the reigning Featherweight and Bantamweight Champion has proven to be must-see t.v just like Flyweight Champion Valentina Schevchenko. Strawweight Champion Zhang Weili has the entire country of China watching her, and as she continues to grow her brand in the U.S.A with her exciting fight style, she will continue to help grow the division as it is experiencing somewhat of a resurgence as one of the premier weight-classes to follow. While the champions and some of the more well-known fighters like former champions Carla Esparza, Joanna Jedrzejczyk, and Rose Namajunas continue to be relevant, the surface has barely been scratched when it comes to the talent waiting in the wings for their time to shine!
Hannah Goldy, Tatiana Suares Shonna Bedford, and others are chomping at the bit to get fights so they can elevate their careers, and of course their bank accounts.
Angela Hill has been on a tear as of late and is riding a three-fight winning streak as she gets ready to headline this weekend’s show, which will be her fourth appearance in 2020. The thing is Hill is not the only female willing to take on a schedule like that. If we are being honest, all the ladies want more fights!
I could sit here and rattle off name after name of the women on the roster. You would know some, probably more than you realize, and some would be new to you, but all of them are in the UFC, and all of them deserve to get more work than they have been getting. The top tier is known, and now it is time for the world to see exactly who is going to be moving the needle in all of the women’s divisions fo the immediate, and distant future.
The UFC could truly do something great if they were to put together a card or two featuring the ladies exclusively! With the entire promotional machine that the UFC has behind them, this really seems like a no-brainer, yet somehow it hasn’t happened, and I quite honestly can’t tell you why! I am not even asking for the UFC to dedicate a numbered PPV to the ladies, (although if matched properly I see no reason why an all-female PPV couldn’t do big numbers) I just want them to give the women their due and dedicate 2 events out of 35 per year to the women!
Maybe I am wrong about this, but I don’t think I am. Eight years ago Dana White proved himself wrong. Today he can make a move in the evolution of mixed martial arts that is right on time, only this time he won’t be late for the revolution!
Christopher James has been in the MMA industry for 15 years, Working as a ring announcer for promotions like the XFC, Island Fights, Combat Night and Fight Nights Global during his career. Chris’ love for the sport and the athletes that partake in it led him to writing and doing face to face interviews with the athletes he admired and respected. Chris isn’t conventional by any stretch of the imagination, he has his own style, and takes pride in not being a “cookie-cutter” member of the media. Unique and sometimes controversial takes are what he brings to the table, forcing folks to think a little differently about the world of MMA. He also has a love for music as he has been a dj for 25 years and his love for music gets brought to the MMA world when he gets his guests to sing on his weekly show Cage Side with Christopher James which can be seen Wednesday nights on FACEBOOK LIVE, and soon via podcast.