Friday, November 25, 2011

The Future of Women's MMA is 135

Cris Santos vs Gina Carano 2009

135 pounds, that is.  According to a recent interview with Cris Cyborg for Tatami magazine, Strikeforce will retain WMMA bouts even after their recent purchase by Dana White, known advocate against female participation in the sport. 
However, Cyborg reveals that she has been asked to drop to 135lbs, explaining,
Actually there’re still two weight divisions: 135lbs and 145lbs. It’s already hard for me to drop to 145lbs, I gotta work a lot and they’re thinking about one division only, they asked me if I could do it. I can try, it’s not impossible.

Dropping to a lower weight-class is an obvious advantage for Cris if she can pull it off.  It will, of course, allow her to fight more and even set her up for a fight against Meisha Tate, which would be incredible. 

Chris 'Cyborg' Santos at 145lbs
At 5'8 and 145lbs, the Cyborg is a formiddable opponent for any fighter, male or female.  At her weight-in, she always appears to be incredibly lean and the hell is she going to drop ten pounds?

And what about all the women who could not drop to 135 or the women who are well under 125?  Is it a coincidence that the weight classes available to pro WMMA fighters would allow Strikeforce to promote women that are the culturally idealized size?  With the burgeoning popularity of the sport, it makes sense that there are not many women who are competing at an elite level and that those who do compete wish to fight in a weight class with the most opponents.  As the sport grows, hopefully more opportunities will rise for women at a variety of sizes.  

So apparently WMMA does have a future with Strikeforce, but only for women who weight 125 or 135lbs.

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