Few Women's MMA bouts are ever featured despite the growing acceptance of their presence inside the cage. STRIKEFORCE and BELLATOR are the only large organizations that provide women in the sport of MMA a chance to show case their athletic skills and dedication to the mixed martial arts. On October 9 in San Jose, CA STRIKEFORCE will be featuring Sarah Kaufman, STRIKEFORCE Women's World Welterweight Champion. Scott Coker, STRIKEFORCE CEO has no issues with women in the sport of MMA, "I grew up in a martial arts school that had females sitting right next to me...Some of them were very good," shares Coker. Unlike other fight organization executives, Coker is a proponent of women's equality in the martial arts across the board. "I grew up in an environment where it was accepted that the female athletes would be able to compete at the highest level with the male athlete, not against each other, but in their own weight classes," Coker explains.
Bellator had their third season of a Women's World Championship Tournament at the Hard Rock in Florida this season. Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney boasts that, his tournament featured, "four female fighters on the card for the event are among the top 10 in the world." Although Gina Carano is the most receognized fighter, women like Megumo Fujii and Cris Cyborg are probably the most talented and well rounded in the sport. Each of which have been big draws for STRIKEFORCE and BELLATOR.
The stories behind many of the female fighers are a bit more interesting than their male training partners. For exmaple, Kaufman is a former ballet dancer and Cyborg was a National handball player in Brazil. Despite their entrance into the sport of MMA, the presence of women in the gym offers great motivation for everyone. Women bring a serious level of focus along with them and desire to achieve technical excellence since strength and power are not their normal assests. Women in the sport also keeps one of the most valuable lessons of traditional martial arts alive - respect your training partners, and we can become better students of the martial arts from even the smallest of opponents, where technical saavy is their primary weapon.
http://www.fightergirls.com is a site dedicated to women in MMA
http://www.strikeforce.com for more information on their upcoming SHOWTIME event.
http://www.bellator.com for information on their women's MMA tournament