Female competition started in the mid 1990s in Japan and was influenced by female professional wrestling and kickboxing. Outside of Japan and the US, female competitions weren’t really heard of and only found in minor local promotions. At the time, men’s MMA wasn’t even fully accepted by the sporting community and while there are exceptions, most women’s sports haven’t done well with spectators. The UFC being incredibly cautious didn’t want or need the risk until the sport was keeping up in all the major commission states. Today is a different story, MMA is huge and becoming the world’s fastest growing sport. Keep up to date with recent MMA news at Martial Arts Online. Mixed martial arts is first and foremost a male dominated sport however this has dramatically changed as female athletes are stepping up their game and taking over.


People often questioned whether seeing women bruised and bloodied would be a turn off that hurt the sensitivity of the sport. Some say that Women fights are generally more exciting than men’s fights, and how some of the men fight not to lose. Women go all out and fight dirty as they just don’t care as much about winning and losing. It has been proven that as far as the public saying they do not want to see women fight, the evidence clearly shows they do from the MMA match of Carano VS Kelly Kobold which gained over 1 million new viewers in 2008. UFC president Dana White was resistant and said that there is not enough depth to create a women’s division. However after a few nudges he warmed up to the idea of including women in the UFC and praises Ronda Rousey as the reason women are fighting in the UFC today.


There has undeniably been growing awareness of women in MMA due to popular female fighters such as Gina Carano, Ronda Rousey, Megumi Fujii, Miesha Tate and Christiane Cyborg Santos to name a few. Although MMA is about technique, ability and competition, no one can deny that being undeniably attractive also helps bring viewers to tune in. These personalities are gaining more interest from the population, but it is because of Ronda Rousey that UFC decided to allow female fighters to compete. Along with that growth has come great support for women’s MMA, the Ultimate Fighting Championship introduced women’s divisions in 2013 mostly built around the talent, skill, star-power and sexiness of Ronda Rousey. It is believed to be said that it was she that gave women fighters out there the recognition they deserve.


In 2015 Rousey became the first UFC and MMA fighter to win the Best Fighter ESPY Award knocking off Floyd Mayweather Jr from his spot. It is without a doubt that Ronda has put women’s MMA on the map and she has made MMA history. Ronda Rousey became the first woman fighter signed to the UFC on November 2012, and was promoted to the division's bantamweight champion. She successfully defended her title in the first UFC women's fight against Liz Carmouche at UFC 157. Undefeated for the next 5 matches it was then Holly Holm that took down her title on Nov 14 2015. Another strong and inspiring woman that will no doubt keep womens MMA alive for many years to come, we can’t wait for the next fight!