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Takedown: What does the future hold for women's MMA?

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Jordan Cieciwa, TSN Radio 1290
12/10/2012 1:14:37 PM
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Ronda Rousey is the UFC‘s first female bantamweight champion.

I want women's MMA to be successful because the better the sport does, the deeper the roots go, the more chance there is of bringing the health and fitness side of the sport to regular folks. Only, in my opinion, this is too much too soon.

On February 23, Liz Carmouche is set to face Ronda Rousey for the title in the main event at UFC 157. Carmouche is 2-2 in her last four fights, which includes a loss to Sarah Kaufman. Kaufman lost her last fight in less than one minute to Rousey.

Carmouche is a talented, aggressive, and well-rounded fighter, but Rousey is a former Olympian who seems to be on another level. 

Rousey has won six fights in under eight minutes combined. If it was not for Miesha Tate taking four minutes and 27 seconds, Ronda would have less than four minutes of cage time.

Rousey has been so dominant that her championship career can be measured in seconds.

Women's MMA is Growing

Invicta Fight Championships is dedicated to women only and they have been building a great deal in the past year.

Strikeforce had a solid stable of women willing to get in the cage and scrap and there is a lot of positive growth in the sport. 

My hope for WMMA is that the UFC stepping in will give women the ability to gain top dollar sponsors, and make this a viable career.

Super Fight?

The only fight fans really want to see is another super fight.  Much the same as the Georges St-Pierre vs. Anderson Silva scenario, fans in WMMA want to see one fight - Ronda Rousey vs. Cristiane (Cyborg) Santos. 

The problem is that is 135-pounds vs. 145-pounds. Fans of the sport realize those two are both dominant in their respective categories. 

Santos lost her first fight seven years ago, and has been on a 10-fight win streak since, with eight of those by knockout.  Santos has the kickboxing skills from Chute Box that would give Ronda a lot of difficulty. Santos tested positive after a successful title defense in January 2012, but with Santos' California State Athletic Commission (CSAC) suspension coming to an end in a couple months, so she would be available to fight. 

The problem is that the only person out there who, on paper, could give Rousey a run for her money is 1) A convicted cheater and  2) Too heavy to fight her.

Focus On The Positive

With the UFC's involvement MMA is now a viable income earning sport for women, that means more female wrestlers, judo players, and martial artists who may look at it as a way to test themselves. 

Currently, there are not a lot of fighters with the training, or skill set to take on Rousey or Santos, but who knows where we will be in three years.  After watching the Olympics this past summer, there are a lot of female competitors who may not want to put the next four years into Olympic training.  That means they are at the physical level needed to turn pro, and with the right coaching in striking and perfection of the MMA ground game, we may close the gap sooner than concerned spectators like me imagined.

Either way, it's happening, so I welcome it.  Ladies of MMA, it's now up to you to make this work.  You have got your shot, make it count!

Ronda Rousey (Photo: Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

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(Photo: Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
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