Great Article for women in MMA

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    Chad Moechnig
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    mmachic
    Post subject: Great Article for women in MMA Post Posted: Thu Jul 19, 2007 7:39 pm

    Joined: Wed Jun 20, 2007 6:04 am
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    It’s Ladies’ Fight

    Thursday, Jul. 19, 2007 By SEAN GREGORY / COMPTON

    Image
    Sofie Bagherdai, top, punches Stephanie Palmer, bottom, during a Fatal Femmes Fighting match at the Crystal Casino in Compton, Los Angeles, CA. on July 14, 2007. Palmer was taken out of the ring on a stretcher.
    (Robert Gallagher for TIME)

    You don’t kick a girl when she’s down, right? Not if you can pound her face instead. At the Fatal Femmes Fighting Championship, an all-female mixed-martial arts (MMA) event, almost anything goes in the cage. Sofie Bagherdai, otherwise a sweet, petite teenager from Southern California, has her opponent, Stephanie Palmer, pinned to the floor. Now she’s ready to work–whack, a shot to the noggin. Bam! Pow! Boom! Half a dozen more. Palmer cowers in the fetal position, and the ref stops the fight. The medics cart Palmer out on a stretcher. (She escapes with a fractured foot, suffered earlier in the bout–which seems minor, considering the beating she took.) “I like to be friendly to my opponents, but from the start, she’s been mad-dogging me, looking me up and down,” said Bagherdai after the bout. “I wanted to make her pay.”
    And see a payday. Over the past few years the popularity of mixed martial arts, the full-combat sport that combines elements of boxing, kickboxing, wrestling, jujitsu and other disciplines, has exploded. One card in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), the most prominent men’s MMA organization, whose fights are shown on Spike TV and pay-per-view, drew more television viewers than the baseball playoffs in the all-important 18-to-34-year-old-male demographic. The UFC surpassed HBO’s 2006 pay-per-view boxing take and is probably worth more than $1 billion. So although the sight of two women pummeling each other in a 24-ft.-wide (7.3 m) cage makes some people queasy, the girls are now trying to cash in on the MMA wave. “We’re not hitting tennis balls. We’re hitting people,” says Gina Carano, a fighter in the upstart, male-dominated EliteXC circuit who draws more traffic to the tour’s website than any male fighter does. “Isn’t that more exciting?”

    The women fighters are feral. “To be able to potentially break somebody’s arm is pretty cool for me,” says Jessica Pene, an Orange County, Calif., makeup artist by day who won her recent Fatal Femmes bout. The raucous Femmes crowd, an eclectic, testosterone-heavy mix of bachelor-party drunks, white-collar MMA fans and even a few young girls, ooohed every choke hold and kick to the face. Says James Jackson, an aerospace worker and MMA fan: “They’re almost more brutal, more barbaric, than the guys.”

    That brutality is sometimes hard to watch. The women will also have to KO several other daunting challenges to catch the men. Women’s boxing, for one, had a nice late-’90s run, but there weren’t enough talented fighters to challenge big names like Laila Ali. “There are very skilled women in MMA, but there’s going to be a smaller pool [than the men],” notes Ken Hershman, the sports programming GM at Showtime. And at the end of the day, the women must realize that, for the most part, they will still be sold as entertainment for men. It’s the ultimate cat fight: as the Fatal Femmes ring announcer put it, “Let’s get ready to … meow!”

    The most serious challenge for female fighters is to find the right organization to promote them. Fatal Femmes is a promising yet fringe production: its second event, in mid-July, was at a small casino in Compton, Calif.; the fighters, on average, made just $1,000. Most female fighters need day jobs to support themselves. Plus the UFC, which Fatal Femmes star Lisa Ward refers to as “dreamland,” has no plans to add a women’s division. “I don’t want to see two women beatin’ on each other,” says UFC president Dana White. “I don’t like it.”

    White admits he sounds like a chauvinist, which fires up the women’s fighters even more. “That is so ridiculous, especially in this day and age,” says fighter Lisa King. “I’m not a women’s lib person or anything, but we’re doing everything else, so why not this?”[/img]
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    Rox21
    Post subject: PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2007 8:01 pm
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    hmm. Cool for some readers. but that’s not the kind of article I want to send to my father….
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    abuckner
    Post subject: PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2007 9:08 pm
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    All MMA is sold as entertainment to men, I don’t think this is something specific to female fighting.

    Fatal Femmes seems to be bringing in some good fighters but I would hope that the people in charge of running an all womens show would not be the ones saying things like, “Let’s get ready to….meow!” I’m not sure how much this encourages people to take us seriously.
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    mmachic
    Post subject: mma in time magazinePostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2007 5:09 am

    Joined: Wed Jun 20, 2007 6:04 am
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    i thought it was a big step for women and mma to be featured in Time magazine.
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    Maulinator
    Post subject: PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2007 9:57 am
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    Well even though any publicity is good publicity, and there were some good fights and good talent at the fatal femmes show – I absolutely wanted to throw up when the announcer said that “meow”. Ugghhh, NOT good for the sport.
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    abuckner
    Post subject: PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2007 10:08 am
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    My comments above were just a couple of random thoughts I had on some of the stuff in the article, not really a condemnation of the article as a whole if that makes sense. Though I guess I would have to say that I’m not a huge believer in the idea that all publicity is good publicity. I always look at any mma coverage and try and figure out if it moves the sport in a good direction and if it encourages people to take women more seriously as mma athletes (if the article is about women). I do think it’s very encouraging that major media sources are showing an interest, this can only lead to good things.
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    Maulinator
    Post subject: PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2007 10:17 am
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    You know what was good though – is that the crowd loved it! I was listening to the people around me talk about the fights and the fighters. And even though some comments were a little naive, they were super into it and making side bets, talking about the fighters and the fights. It may not have sounded like it (they crowd was a little quiet), that was primarily due to the fact that there was between 15 and 30 minutes in between almost every fight! So the momentum was getting lost with all the waiting, but there was a good response from the people that attended.
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    abuckner
    Post subject: PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2007 10:38 am
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    Molly – That’s great to hear that the crowd was so into it. That’s the thing I’ve always thought was so strange about the slow growth of womens fighting is that when you actually fight in an event you’ll get all this great feedback after the fight about how much everyone loved it, etc…But then you’ll hear plenty of comments through various sources stating that womens fighting will never be popular and nobody wants to watch it. How can women always have the fight of the night but at the same time have all these people saying they don’t even want to see us fight. It seems like there is a weird disconnect
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    Rosi
    Post subject: PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2007 2:48 am
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    Quote:
    Molly – That’s great to hear that the crowd was so into it. That’s the thing I’ve always thought was so strange about the slow growth of womens fighting is that when you actually fight in an event you’ll get all this great feedback after the fight about how much everyone loved it, etc…But then you’ll hear plenty of comments through various sources stating that womens fighting will never be popular and nobody wants to watch it. How can women always have the fight of the night but at the same time have all these people saying they don’t even want to see us fight. It seems like there is a weird disconnect
    It’s an interesting phenomenon. I have rarely, if ever, heard anything negative about women’s MMA in person. I think a lot of the stuff seen on the internet is less an actual heartfelt opinion, and more something that is said to convey a particular image by the person posting. Taking a derogatory view of women is sometimes used (within certain subgroups of the population) to portray a hypermasculine “macho” image. You can see this by the number of people who actually go out of their way to post negative views on threads about female MMA (generally, the normal response to a thread about something you’re not interested in would be to ignore it).

    There’s a parallel to an experiment in social psychology from the early 1900s, in the days when racism was an accepted norm. One researcher wrote to a bunch of hotels round the US, asking whether they would accommodate a chinese couple. Many wrote back saying that they would not. However, when they actually went to the hotels, virtually all not only accommodated them, but provided excellent service.

    The attitudes people say they have don’t always correspond well with their behaviour when actually put in that situation. Take it for what it is – sound and fury, signifying nothing.
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    hanoverfist
    Post subject: PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2007 10:02 am

    Joined: Sat Dec 25, 2004 11:41 am
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    Location: Seattle wa.
    I agree with Amanda in that not all publicity is good publicity. Once you are stereotyped in the mind of the masses that is the image by which you are judged in the public eye. Now that can work for or against you depending on the initial impression. As for general public response to women fighting I do get alot of negative responses by men that I know when I tell them about womens mma and boxing. This is imho due to social imprinting during child rearing with young boys..you are taught to never hit a girl, they are the weaker and more fragile of the smile and should be protected and cherished, women shouldn’t be doing anything that leaves them sweaty, bloodied or bruised. And really what’s attractive about two pretty girls doing each other up ugly. I am an mma fan and martial artist and I tend to look at it from a different perspective in that I believe everyone no matter race or creed or gender should be able to practice and perform martial arts and culture, the true testemant being in combat. I can admire and respect women who showcase skill and heart in the ring and I guess to some extent it is attractive to me( does that make me a bad person?) 🙂 It really comes down to the social circles you travel in..ie if you are with other fighters then it generally is accepted because they are looking at it as a fight not a beauty pageant, to the everyday joe it seems barbaric and goes against social preconceptions.
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    nuvuefilms
    Post subject: FFF announcer correctionPostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2007 7:57 pm

    Joined: Fri Jun 22, 2007 12:03 am
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    Tom Looney, the FFF announcer who filled in for Bruce Buffer (announcer of FFF1), took it upon himself to say that, it was not approved by anyone at the FFF staff —
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    Josh Barnett
    Post subject: PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2007 12:20 am
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    Ah fuck Rosi; You TKO’ us with a Phd there.

    😆

    How’s Karl and company?

    Josh
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