How important is the staredown to the fighters? I know that it's good for the promoter. And secondly, how do you women keep a straight face druing these staredowns?
IMO it is *very* important, for everyone. It's supposed to be a fight not a tupperware party. I'm all about respect but there's plenty of time for that after the fight, and if/when it is earned. When it's not and there's still unfinished business those are just good cases for rematches.
A true 'complete' fighter should be able to adapt under any circumstance, any mindset, whether inside the cage/ring or out...and, be able to control their emotions whether their opponent is hostile or not, and still fight effectively whether angry or not. This whole can't fight anyone who's not a smiling buddy is just feeding the double-standard suppression and makes females look even more mamby pamby compared to the guys.
Not saying every fight needs to be a super grudge but the reality is that life isn't all rainbows n butterflies. BOTH aspects are needed. The average MMA fans are not a bunch of goody goody wusses and want to see the entire spectrum of emotions.
As females and due to the added stigmas we have an even greater need to "out-badass" the guys in every aspect, including staredowns...