Many articles are written briefly talking about who is fighting, when they are fighting and who they are fighting when talking about Women’s MMA. Rarely is there any real discussion about the fighters themselves, their ability, technique, style and over all performance. These are the types of things you see talked about when you read articles written about our male counterparts. I believe there needs to be a major shift in the world of Women’s MMA if we are ever going see a real Women’s Division in a major organization such as the WEC.
Though there are many talented women in the field for Women’s MMA there are very few who have reached a level that one could consider elite, fighters such Debi Purcell and Chris Cyborg. In my humble opinion these women have set the bar that all others should be striving to reach. Jessica Aguilar and 115lbs. and Sara Kaufman at 135lbs. are two fighters who I believe are near the top of that peak.
So by now you might be thinking, who is this person giving her opinion on Women’s MMA and what makes her qualified to have an opinion. My name Dana Chaney and have been training in Mixed Martial Arts for 24 years. Longer than most of these girls have been alive! In fact when I received my first Black Belt back in TaeKwonDo in 1988, the UFC hadn’t even been born yet. The first UFC event took place in 1993 in Denver Colorado. I remember this guy named Royce Gracie showing up doing all of these crazy moves beating guys 2 to 3 times his size fighting 2 to 3 time in one night! I competed where and when I could and eventually obtained my 1st degree Black Belt in Jujitsu. I managed to make it up the ranks a little higher here and there and have been a dedicated Martial Artists ever since. I currently train at the Ultimate Fitness Center with Urjiah Faber and Team Alfa Male.
So that his who I am. My hope is to be able to continue to write articles that that are more than just play lists of who is fighting when, but rather articles that talk about who these fighters are, how they are growing as fighters, their technique and ability and how we as women who have a passion for this sport can begin to build a solid road to being truly recognized as professional fighters in the industry.
There is no doubt in my mind that we have a lot more work to do. It starts with you. The fighters who are reading this article and those of you who are aspiring to become fighters. Do you believe you are an Elite fighter? When you watch video footage of yourself do you see it? It doesn’t matter what your record is or how many fights that you have won. You are always only as good as the worse fighter is bad in your division. So if you think that you are good…take a good look at anyone who you believe is not that great but is still showing up in the circle and still managing to get fights.
The problem right now is that there really is no one out there pushing women to the next level. If we had more Chris Cyborg’s and Debi Purcell’s you would see an entirely different level of fighters. I guarantee that. Once we have more women fighting at those levels, fans will start to see two “Fighters” fighting, rather than two “Women” fighting and when that begins to happen, the WEC will be banging on our door rather than us banging on theirs.