The sport of MMA has ever so rapidly become extremely mainstream. With that has come some good as well as some bad. New opportunities are surfacing for up and coming fighters with so many aboard the MMA bandwagon, that it will pave way to better make a name for ourselves within the fight community. Along with the positive factors, there of course quietly slides in the negatives. One of the biggest downfalls I have personally been seeing is the rise in inexperienced fighters…men and women hopping on for the ride of MMA popularity for the wrong reasons. This alone, I believe is beginning to hurt the sport. Who is really serious and who is not?
Everyone’s a fighter…for the truly dedicated, an untrained, non serious fighter can definitely make us all look bad. Its going to take a little time for those people to be weeded out. On another side of the sport, the most unfortunate that I myself have experienced as well as many others, is the lack of sportsmanship and support amongst the females. I was drawn into this sport for several different reasons, one being, I was watching the sport long before I myself began training. I was amused by the fact that two amazing athletes could enter the cage, go head to head battling only to hug in the biggest sign of respect when the fight had ended. What comradery. I wanted that. I thought what an awesome sport. I viewed it as a source of self commitment, discipline, hard work, motivation and inspiration, not to mention a great way to get in the best condition of my life and learn how to properly defend myself if need be.
What I have found instead almost 4 years into my journey, is that its very difficult to trust and or make friends with other female fighters. I see constant bad mouthing, and straight out cruelty towards other women in the sport. Whether it be they are ridiculed for their performance, undeserving of their successes, and simply bullied by clicks amongst Facebook. I have seen, read and heard some of the harshest, uncalled for statements made towards these women. So bad that some have deleted their FB pages. Why as women must we be so jealous and hateful for another’s accomplishments? Certain fighters get shots on the big show and FB is on an uproar of how undeserving of that the person is. Immediately, they band together like elementary school children to gossip online, to the point that it becomes FB top news. How sad? Would you feel that way if the opportunity was yours? Who are you to decide whom is deserving of what? Why as women, no matter what circumstances we are put in, there will always be cattiness? I like to find inspiration through those I look up to. It is one thing to be envious of something someone else has, but non-maliciously…we are human after all. But to be vengeful and make the person feel unworthy is merely a lack of self confidence. As women in this sport, we complain about having to train with the men for a lack of females, yet the moment that opportunity present itself, we cant allow that person to be a friendly training partner, they become strictly competition. We wonder why we are held back in the sport, why we are not advancing like the men, yet who wants to see women acting so childish and unprofessional. I would not admire or look up to half of these women after watching them on television after following the things they say online. What kind of positive representation to young female hopefuls is it to see grown women argue back and fourth about pettiness, make fun of how someone else fights or who stole what fighters man? Sounds silly right? But, this is what is happening between too many female fighters. We should take note on athletes like Roxanne Modaferri, Tara LaRosa, Megumi Fugi, Lisa Ward, Rosi Sexton amongst many other motivational Pro females out there. Women like these are what we should be striving to be more like and taking notes from. So, try instead to focus on YOU. What’s going on in your own life, what do you want from the sport and who can you learn from. We can be using each other in such a more productive way like learning from each other, training with each other and simply be there with an ear to listen. We all don’t have to be the best of friends, but I always thought what a great way to meet other strong women with similar goals in life who share the same passion for the sport as myself. I have found in life that it is always more rewarding to give, you may be surprised in the return in karma when you least expect it. So…on a final note, its never too late to turn things around. To show the world, that we are serious athletes that can serve to be great role models in this sport, that we are talented and deserving of the public spotlight. Congratulate your fellow female fighter on her next achievement, be happy and supportive of others, try and put yourself in another’s shoes before you say or do and focus on being at your personal best. You might be amazed at how far you can go in life letting go of negativity and putting so much energy into the wrong things.