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Friday, 03/15/2013, 10:13 pm

Does The Progress of Women’s MMA Come at the Expense of Men’s MMA? | Editorial

 

Following the introduction of female mixed martial artists into the UFC, the UFC has taken heavy liberties in reducing the size its roster in their other respective divisions. Last month, headlines were made when top tier welterweight Jon Fitch was handed his walking papers alongside fifteen other fighters. While Fitch’s cut remains the most controversial, due to his top ten ranking in the welterweight division and successful string of wins he was able to put together in the UFC, many fighters ranging from Che Mills to Jacob Volkmann also saw their dreams of competing in the pinnacle of the sport swept from under them.

A similar trend occurred when the UFC made the decision to bring in lower weight classes as well. In the wake of the addition of the bantamweight and flyweight weight classes, fighters seemed to be getting released far above the average rate and it seems the UFC have continued to adopt this approach with its inclusion of women’s mixed martial arts.

While it is understandable why the UFC would choose this path, it creates a state of dissonance and disparity within the community of fans and fighters alike. From a financial standpoint, it may be unfeasible for the UFC to house all of its current fighters if it wants to possess the top talent in every single division. What is unfortunate is that instead of expanding through the addition of these new divisions, the UFC compensates by downsizing the scale and roster of its other respective divisions.

In short, this creates a disconnect as it posits the notion that the present cannot exist harmoniously with the future. While empowering and creating opportunities for women fighters is important for developing the women’s mixed martial arts community and prevalence of women in sports, it is discouraging to know that it may be potentially at the expense of others. While a causal link cannot be empirically established between fighters being brought on board and fighters being cut, a correlation and trend is clearly visible.

I applaud the UFC for taking steps to bridge the gender gap that exists between women and men in sports. Women in general are largely invisible in the arena of sports in comparison to their male counterparts who’s visibility heavily dominate the majority of sports they compete in. The prevalence of female role models in sports is vital for deconstructing established sexist gender norms that otherwise marginalize women to subordinate roles. Additionally, paving the way for stars such as Ronda Rousey may also prove to be a lucrative and wise financial investment as ratings indicate that stars can be made out of women and men alike.

On the other hand, it is unfortunate that this empowerment seems to come at a cost, but it would be insensible to point a finger. The UFC is after all a business, and without enough resources and enough funding, it cannot be expected to shoulder everything.

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0 Comments to Does The Progress of Women’s MMA Come at the Expense of Men’s MMA? | Editorial

  1. Nuitari X says:

    Whether they add women to the sport or not I think the UFC roster needs to be thinned out. That way the people you want to see fight will be able to fight more often and the up and comers will be able to make a name for themselves quicker. How many times have you see an entire card with a bunch of no-names on it? Too often. It would benefit the organization especially with the addition of the lighter weight classes and women. Also with fighters having to worry about being cut for unexciting or poor performances it gives them more reason to be exciting for the fans. Trying to put the reason for cuts all on the woman though is ludicrous. It was something that needed to happen anyways.

  2. Gargoyle Wrestling says:

    They should thin out all the old fukcers that are taking up space and have no ability to ever be champs. Give the young up and comers a chance. At least start another promo that pits these old farts together. Call it something like the “Dinosaur Division”. They could pass around the TRT and just scrap. But yah wmma, is pretty boring.

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