To fans, fighters, and the rest of the MMA world:
I’m always asked what I think about the status of WMMA (women’s MMA), so I’d like to share some of my recent thoughts. I’ll focus on the positive things that we’re doing right – and there are a lot!
First, I’d like to re-define the term “WMMA.” I don’t do “women’s MMA,” or “female fighting.” There is only ONE kind of MMA, and I’m a woman who does it. So from here on, I’m going to stick to saying “female fighters.”
Female participation in Mixed Martial Arts has come a long, long way over the years, and especially over the past five!
First of all, I’d like to say “good job” to women who do martial arts. Some women compete, some only train and coach, and some do both. I know that Marloes Coenen and Sarah Kaufman teach ladies-only classes, and Megumi Fujii takes care of her women’s team at the AACC in Japan. Some women take it seriously, while others just train for fun, but everyone works hard and supports each other. I want to say ‘thank you’ to everyone who’s working their butts off to get stronger and show that women have a place in the world of sport fighting and MMA.
A HUGE thank you goes to the media; especially websites, writers, and photographers. One thing hindering female fighters is LACK OF PROMOTION. After my Strikeforce fight against Sarah Kaufman, I received literally hundreds of emails, starting with, “I saw your interviews and fight blog on YouTube….” Thank you Esther Lin and Casey at allelbows.com especially, who recorded it. Fight Journal video part 1 got 17,340 views. Major websites (I don’t want to name any because I’ll inevitably be leaving important ones out!) run articles and interviews on female fighters and spread them around Twitter and Facebook, etc. Who wants to see a voiceless, personality-less, unknown fighter? Various fight fans with small, less-trafficked sites also put up interviews and articles. THANK YOU.
Much gratitude to promotions that put women’s fights on their cards. It’s not easy to make a match, because they can’t just ‘find’ local girls. They have to dish out the cash to fly them and their coaches in, reserve hotel rooms, and then pay fight purses on top of them. Fight purses tend to be extremely low; especially compared to male counterparts. However, media coverage + exciting fights x fans wanting to see the fights = more money coming in = higher purses. Strikeforce and Bellator are doing it, as well as many, many other promotions all across the country, across the world.
Also, putting the fights on TV and HDNet is HUGE.
“So, will the UFC one day have women’s fights?”
That is a very good question. Dana White stated years ago that he didn’t like to see women fighting each other. Recently, he stated that the talent pool existed but wasn’t deep enough.
Now, I respect Mr. White very much. I think he’s a very smart businessman, and when he said that, it made me stop and think really hard. I think we all can agree to a certain point.
It takes time to build a fighter. After a few years of serious training, you get an amateur. After a few years of amateur, you get a pro. If you jump straight into pro, you get a messy fight. And then you get people saying, “Oh, women can’t/shouldn’t fight.” So in a few years, I think we’ll see an explosion of female fighters who’ve joined and were inspired by the current popularity.
Right now, we have women coming out of the woodwork who’ve been training for years but have never competed in the spotlight. Getting sponsorships makes it possible for women to focus on training at a professional level. Thank you to all companies who sponsor female fighters.
And finally, we want to thank YOU, the reader, for reading this and being a fan of MMA – regardless of which gender does it!
Roxanne “The Happy Warrior” Modafferi
The women’s MMA icon tries to make history once again by defeating Strikeforce champion Sarah Kaufman on Friday on the national stage.
The name Roxanne Modafferi may not to known the average MMA fan, but the women’s MMA community knows of her accomplishments in the history of the sport.
Modafferi is hoping to make her mark at the national level by becoming Strikeforce’s 135 pound champion. In her way is a tough and undefeated Sarah Kaufman.
She was on “Sportsgeeks” to talk about her title hopes in what is the biggest match of her career. As of late, Modafferi has been getting a lot of press by several major websites since her victory over #1 ranked 125 pounder Tara LaRosa in May; a match which many consider the best women’s match of the year so far. Modafferi said that getting the title fight after her match was LaRosa couldn’t have timed more perfectly.
“I’m striving for the best, and I just want to be going up, up, up,” Modafferi expressed. “Tara was my dream fight, and then there was nothing. I would be like ‘Yah! Wait, what’s next?’ So this is like perfect.”
Modafferi was tight lipped about her strategy coming into the fight, but acknowledged that she has a rough road ahead of her in Kaufman.
“I think (Kaufman) is a pretty solid fighter,” Modafferi admitted. “Even though I have twice as much ring experience as she does, I am definitely not looking past her.”
Her career is known for her upsets; the biggest being her win over undefeated 12-0 Jennifer Howe six years ago. Modafferi wants to repeat history by defeating the 11-0 Kaufman becoming the new Stikreforce 135 pound champion.
“I do want to be the first person to beat Sarah Kaufman,” stated Modafferi. “I tend to be the first person to beat ‘so and so’. I hope that streak will continue.”
On the heels of her big title fight, Strikeforce #1 contender Roxanne Modafferi talks about making history.
This week on the podcast –
Roxanne Modafferi talks about her upcoming championship fight with Strikeforce champ Sarah Kaufman
Strikeforce talks future cards
Tonya Evinger roars at Raging Wolf
Plus a lot of results and upcoming matches in women’s MMA.
With one week’s notice, Roxanne Modafferi is ready to face Marloes Coenen once again.
Imagine getting a call at 3:40 a.m. asking “Do you wanna fight one of the top fighters in the world in one week’s time?” A lot of fighters would want some more prep time, but for Roxanne Modafferi, it was an opportunity she just couldn’t pass up.
On this week, Modafferi talked about her preparations for the fight and her excitement of returning to fight in the states. She hasn’t fought in a year, which has been a struggle. However, she found a way to use it as a tool to help motivate her during training.
“I’ve been training like crazy,” Modafferi commented. “It’s been really depressing not getting a fight. I’ve been depressed over it, but I tried to turn that into, ‘Alright! I have to get better. When I do get the chance I just have to get good enough to show everybody what I can do. And I have to focus on improving.’ In that frame of mind I trained everyday crazily.”
With already one victory over her opponent Marloes Coenen, Modafferi is hoping to make it two in a row at Strikeforce in Chicago this weekend. She isn’t going to take Coenen lightly, however.
“I think (Coenen) is very good, and she’s very strong, and there is no way I am underestimating her,” Modafferi stated. “(In our first fight) in the first round, she caught we with a hook and that kind of stunned me; so that’s why I went down. So, I am going to be watching for that. I am just going to have to impose my game on her. I’m very cautious but I am going to do my own thing.”
When it comes to how the fight would play out, Modafferi said anything and everything will happen.
“It could got either way, you know” Modafferi admitted. “We are both good at out ground game. We both have our strengths and weaknesses standing. I can’t predict what will happen, only that I will win in the end.”