MMA fans are blessed to be living in an age of acceptance, regardless of age, race or gender. Generations before, in multiple fields, worked very hard and sacrificed so much so that we may enjoy this era.
It took a long time before female athletes were taken as seriously as male athletes. By the time women’s MMA came around, MMA had gone through enough development to be taken seriously by the general population. Not only that, but women in combat sports had been around long enough to be considered ordinary. Needless to say, women’s MMA is developing in a great era of sports.
We are weeks away from seeing MMA history being made at UFC 157, where Ronda Rousey will defend her title against Liz Carmouche. When Dana White confirmed this as UFC 157’s main event, some time back, not everyone was happy. With Rousey and Carmouche as the headlining event, that means that Dan Henderson and Lyoto Machida will be the co-main event. This upset a number of fans and Henderson’s camp.
Earlier this week, while I was on Facebook, I saw a fabricated promotional UFC 157 poster. The poster had Henderson and Machida as the headlining event with Rousey and Carmouche as the featured event. It is titled “The True Main Event.”
I found it petty. I realize it is rather immature to get angry at something so insignificant, but I can’t deny how it made me feel.
Fans are not angry because the main event features two women. If this were a simple case of sexism, it would make this easier to comprehend. People are upset because they believe the quality of the fight between Rousey and Carmouche will fall short, compared to Henderson and Machida. The fans may be right–the odds of Carmouche winning are fairly slim, indicating a boring one sided fight may be afoot. By comparison, a match between Henderson and Machida is a tale with a far less predictable ending.
In all honesty, I think Henderson and Machida is a more interesting match than Rousey and Carmouche. But Rousey, Carmouche and all female MMA fighters work incredibly hard and have paid their dues. Having these two female fighters headlining a UFC main event is a defining step in MMA history, regardless of how it actually plays out.