One of the few female referees across the country Kim Winslow is living her dream, but one day that dream can turn into a terrifying reality. The cage can be a great career for many people but when the officiating job hits crucial times, female referees are at risk.
Before anybody jumps on me for being sexist, you are totally wrong because that is not what this article is about. This article is regarding the safety of not only Kim Winslow but the safety of the fighters that are inside the cage.
I am happy for the female referees that want to officiate the sport they love. It shows they want to continue to be involved with the sport and it doesn't matter to them what sex they are. Many male officials are apart of girls softball and a female referee is in the rotation of the NBA. They should be applauded for this and not be put down because of the generalization "they don't belong in the sport because of their gender".
That is not the point I'm trying to make. The focus is how Winslow continues to put herself in jeopardy of being hurt as well as the fighters. Now to be clear the UFC makes no decisions on who is assigned to what fights and with the Athletic Commissions handling that duty it's the luck of the draw. With Winslow being the only female ref that I've seen doing major organizations it seems that her skills aren't up to par in officiating the higher weight classes.
Sure there is the point of she has been training and knows what the male referees know. However with her being assigned to the higher weight classes that could pose a huge problem in the future.
Safety is the utmost concern of the Athletic Commissions as well as the companies that organize the fights. If there are 2 men in the cage that are combined weight of over 450lbs, I don't see any female referee conducting "aggressive stoppage" if need be.
Over the last few months Winslow has been looked at as a hesitant referee in terms of stopping fights. The fight between Jan Finney and Cyborg last June was an eye opener on the irresponsibility and risk factor involved on letting that fight continue. Finney said not to blame Winslow even though the majority said the fight went on too long and the bruises and cuts proved that.
Winslow has had officiated fights since then, but the part that worries me more and more after each fight what would happen if something did occur? Honestly, the public can see that she may be a referee but with somebody on the mat and their opponent continues to punch away do you see Kim Winslow breaking that up?
It all comes down to the safety of every person in that octagon and if one person cannot do their job (fighters or referee) the safety is indeed in question. I'm sure Kim Winslow is a great person out of the cage and conducts herself the best to her ability. With the fighters getting bigger and stronger and when emotions run high anything can happen. If she is suppose to be the mediator between two fighters that are looking to win the fight at any way possible, the fight could take a turn for the worse and a few seconds of punches can be all that is needed to have a problem.
I'm all for woman in men sports officiating and there is nothing that would be better for sports if they accepted more women. But with MMA it is different due to the size and strength the fighters have and hopefully something is done to help the female referees. If they need to be trained different or assigned to different fights to help secure the safety of every person involved so be it.
Right now any female referee inside the cage can make many get a bit nervous. The stats on the table are something that are not in the positive side for any female referee and hopefully something is done to skew those stats in the positive direction.