Women’s MMA today

July 30th, 2015

Women’s Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) is a sport fast growing in popularity. It was in Japan in the early years of the 21st Century that women MMA fighters first started to get recognition, and would fight in all female promotions. In more recent years, the United States has seen a surge of interest in women’s MMA, and events such as the Invicta Fighting Championships feature only female fighters. Women MMA fighters also appear at the Bellator Fighting Championships and Strikeforce.

Leading Figures In Women’s MMA

The strong personalities of the top female MMA fighters has done much to attract interest in the sport, of which the likes of Ronda Rousey, Megumi Fujii (now retired) and Gina Carano are three examples. Carano has become a particularly high profile figure – helped by her appearance on the TV show, American Gladiators.

The Increase In Recognition

Late in 2013, the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) offered contracts to 11 female fighters, and this underlined how far the sport had come. There are two weights – strawweight and bantamweight. The first all female fight to be promoted as a main event had been just four years earlier. Also, in 2012, the Invicta Fighting Championships were launched, and so became one of the first professional organisations featuring female fighters only.

Length Of Rounds Change

The length of rounds in bouts can vary in women’s MMA, and Strikeforce have made radical changes to the duration of rounds of the fights it promotes, for instance. To begin with, rounds lasted two minutes, whereas now rounds last five minutes, which is the same as the men. Three minutes has also been the norm elsewhere.