• The Ronda Rousey Show continues…

  • The title fight at last night’s UFC 170 saw Ronda Rousey, the queen of women’s MMA, retain her title for a third time, increasing her overall fight record to 9-0-0. It’s old news now that the 27-year-old Californian, along with former fight superstar-turned-actress Gina Carano, is a pioneer of women’s MMA, and together they helped put the sport firmly on the mainstream fight map.

    But they didn’t do it on their own. The willingness of promoters to nurture new talent in an area that wasn’t previously respected played a huge part in Rousey and Carano’s success. Given the need to consistently stage exciting fights that fans want to watch, and that constantly challenge their top fighters, it came as little surprise when some said it was a stupid move to give these athletes a mainstream platform.

    I for one was a little disappointed that Rousey’s time at the top wasn’t cut short last night by previously undefeated Olympic wrestling silver medalist Sarah McMann. There’s no argument that Rousey is an incredible athlete, but despite her achievements many fans are beginning to tire of what has been dubbed ‘the Ronda Rousey show’ and that, coupled with her poor display of sportsmanship against Miesha Tate at UFC 168 and on the American TV show The Ultimate Fighter, has got many of us waiting for the day she falls flat on her a$$ from her reign at the top. But there are a limited number of contenders, and although Cris ‘Cyborg’’s recent news that she’s now willing to make the drop down to 135Ib and face Rousey makes for an interesting event to come, I for one am ready to see some new faces step up to the plate.

    Enter Shannon Knapp, Founder and President of Invicta FC, the world’s first female-only fight championship, who this week announced the signing of no less than 15 new fighters. Let’s be clear on what this means: we have 15 new fight backgrounds, across all five weight categories, with each of them increasing the opportunity to put on a show like we have never seen before.

    Invicta’s new fighters hail from around the globe, from Poland and the Netherlands to Brazil, the US and even New Zealand. They will join the ranks of Joanne Calderwood, Cat Zingano, Miesha Tate, Sarah Kaufman and a host of other well-known faces on the female fight scene. One of the main obstacles that these athletes have had to face in the lead-up to their professional careers is a lack of skilled opponents who could challenge and push them in the way they needed in order to progress. For some, the rise from amateur to pro level occurred at high speed simply because there were no opponents at amateur level, which of course meant no fights at all.

    These signings mark an entirely new chapter in women’s MMA. Be prepared for sparks to fly; it could be one of these fighters who finally end up walking away with Rousey’s belt…

    About The Author – Shaheen Hashmat

    Shaheen Hashmat is a writer and social commentator who has been training in kickboxing for two years and BJJ for one. Hailing from Premier Mixed Martial Arts in West London, Shaheen is particularly interested in women’s MMA and the growing UK fight scene.

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