As I’ve stated on here multiple times, a great warrior is not defined by gender, age or physical strength. A competitor that is able to dig down deep, overcome the toughest obstacles and rise above it all is truly what being a superb fighter is all about.
For years, female MMA athletes have been overshadowed at every turn, cast aside and in some cases blacklisted by the combat sports community. Instead of listening to all of the negativity and walking away like most would, fighters such as Gina Carano, Christiane “Cyborg” Santos, Ronda Rousey, Miesha Tate, Sarah Kaufman, Marloes Coenen and so many others have withstood the heavy criticism and proved that they can be just as exciting, if not more so, than their male counterparts.
Rousey, an Olympic bronze medalist in Judo, has established herself as not only the biggest star in WMMA but one of the most popular athletes in the entire sport overall. The current Strikeforce bantamweight champion is undefeated in her professional career and has finished all of her opponents in the first round with a beautifully executed armbar.
She’s headlined two Strikeforce cards back to back, posed on the cover of ESPN “The Body Issue”, was featured on the Conan O’Brien show and was also the first female fighter to make an appearance on the UFC’s “Ultimate Fighter” reality series. Needless to say, she’s a superstar in every sense of the word but she is far from being the only great female athlete in the sport.
Top quality female talent exists all over the world, most of them are undiscovered but Strikeforce and rising promotion Invicta FC are putting them front and center for the world to see. It is getting harder and hard to overlook these girls.
We recently spoke with former UFC middleweight champion and current Strikeforce commentator Frank Shamrock on BJPenn.com Radio and he spoke very highly of WMMA and very poorly of a certain UFC President.
“The future [for women’s MMA] is absolutely bright and I think they are one of the keys to making this sport legitimate and also taking it mainstream. I mean, Conan O’Brien doesn’t want Dana White on his show dropping F-bombs,” Shamrock said exclusively on BJPenn.com Radio.
“He wants Ronda Rousey on there [because] you don’t want the crazy guy with the big mouth. You want the pretty blonde girl that is talking sense with passion. They don’t even want me, it’s a no brainer, they want the pretty blonde girl that’s kicking butt and that’s just the way it is.”
It’s no secret that Shamrock and UFC President Dana White don’t exactly see eye to eye. Shamrock had many harsh words for White during the interview segment, calling him a “bully” and said he was glad to be retired because the whole sport has become “ridiculous”.
I don’t necessarily agree with Shamrock on that but I absolutely stand by what he said about WMMA and the potential that all of these athletes have to take this sport to a whole new level.
“I think that these girls are part of our future and we need to embrace them and give them the respect they deserve. They’ve gone from zero to 100 in like three years, I mean years ago these girls were just scratching the surface and now they are headlining shows,” Shamrock said.
“These girls deserve their due and I think they are going to save the sport from Dana White. He’s spoken out for years about how he was totally against [women’s MMA] and how he didn’t believe in it and blah, blah, blah. He will immediately do whatever makes money, regardless and that’s the leader of our sport unfortunately.”
Now, I don’t believe the sport needs “saving” because the UFC is doing phenomenal business and MMA is on fire but Shamrock isn’t entirely wrong when he describes these girls are somewhat of a shining light. Let’s be honest, many of the top male fighters have become entirely motivated by money and nothing else.
There is nothing wrong with that but I have heard some of these same male fighters say that watching some of the recent female fights in Strikeforce and Invicta has reignited their passion for the sport.
These girls aren’t fighting solely to make a few bucks because they could be making a ton more doing almost anything else but they do it for the pure love of competition and they fight with passion every single time. As the platform for women’s MMA increases, the entire sport will benefit overall and that is where the light will shine brightest.
To read Shamrock’s thoughts on Dana White, Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier click here.Tags: Dana White, frank shamrock, Invicta Fighting Championships, miesha tate, Ronda Rousey, Sarah Kaufman, Strikeforce, Women's MMA