Santos Courtesy Astra Fight Team
I have been wanting for a while to write to the new influx of fans that came during the Rousey/UFC era and welcome you to what I have been writing about for the past 6 years. Love her or hate her, Ronda Rousey had driven in you guys and gals into the fold and not complaining one bit about it.
I should also recognize those fans who have came along as Invicta started to gain steam and are realizing how these ladies’ passion and drive translates in a cage. As strong and talented as they are on the inside of the cage, many are more than happy to take a picture with a fan or answer a tweet.
I sometimes feel, however, you are only getting part of this picture. The UFC is by no means WMMA as a whole, and there is a world load of talent put there that not only helped develop the sport to where it is today, but new talent we could see become the next superstars.
I have been obsessed with the women’s divisions for a while now, and have dedicated my life to covering every aspect. I know you may have lives (unlike me) and may not have the time I do to watch many, many hours of fights and research many new and upcoming fighters. My hope for this site is to educate you in less time.
I also want to open your eyes to the talented that isn’t in the UFC quite yet and those fighters who are pioneers before Dana White would have ever thought about bring female fighters in. WMMA is more than Ronda Rousey, and without those who came before her and those gals that actually dared to want to face Rousey, she wouldn’t be where she is today.
Don’t get me wrong, Rousey deserves a lot of credit to bringing the women’s divisions in the UFC. Without fighters like Shayna Baszler, Tara LaRosa, Gina Carano, and yeah even Miesha Tate, Rousey wouldn’t have even considered going into MMA. There are many gals that paved the way for her to take it to the next level. Feel free to look up old fights and see how these fighters set the table and made the women’s divisions acceptable in the MMA world. I recommend Julie Kedzie versus Gina Carano first and work your way from there.
The early part of the year has been slow in terms of the UFC and Invicta, but you may have missed out on some developing international talent making waves of their own. Brazil’s MMA Super Heroes and the XFC have been streaming female fights and many were well worth watching. DEEP-JEWELS, who can trace their linage back over a decade, has finally started to stream in the US, and with talent like Seo Hee Ham, Mizuki Inoue, and Ayaka Hamsaki, they will continue to send talent to Invicta.
Cage Warriors has invested a lot in their women’s divisions as well. I am already seeing stars in atomweight Catherine Costigan and bantamweight Agnieszka Niedzwiedz, plus Joanna Jedrzejczyk just signed to the UFC. They too stream female fights (for free) and well worth a watch on a Saturday afternoon.
If you have ever thought about watching Invicta, now is a great time. You know all those strawweights that just signed to the UFC, and more than half of the bantamweights? Invicta developed them. The promotion doesn’t see any signs of slowing as they replenished their 115ers already and look to beef up their 135ers shortly. By the way, there are more divisions out there including the 105ers, the 125ers, and 145ers. Invicta’s 155 division will give a lot of power as well once it starts on the next card and goes to show the growth of WMMA as a whole.
Amateur women’s divisions are growing and have been over the past four years. Many organizations such as Tuff-n-uff and NAAFS has done a great job of promoting great up and coming talent, and several organizations like Survivors’ Fighting Alliance are going to make new stars we could be seeing in the UFC in the coming years. Remember, access to female fights could be easy as driving a few minutes to your local arena. Take it in live too.
You have come in at a great time for the sport. With more fights and more access, if you have an hour or two a month you could easily see more action on cards that aren’t under the UFC banner. Be open to seeing new fighters no matter what weight class or promotion. Many streams are free, with some worth wild ones at only $10.
If you have questions feel free to ask. If you see a fighter I need to take a look at, tell me. I am going to give you as much info as possible to when and where fighters are fighting and if you can watch on stream.
Again, welcome to the WMMA world and take it all in. Thank you for supporting these fighters and helping make this sport as popular as it’s been.
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