The Year of Women’s MMA; 2010?

Posted by: John W. Zimmer
Under: MMA
7 Feb 2010


After watching the video of Strike Force’s Chris “Cyborg” Santos’ latest win, I wonder, is 2010 going to be the breakout year for women’s MMA? We have watched Gina Carano rise to become one of the most recognized female fighters and then lose the title fight to Cyborg in 2009. There are more women kick boxers/Muay Thai fighters learning how to do jiu jitsu so they can compete in MMA so I ask you – Is 2010 going to be the year of women’s MMA?


In this post I will talk about if this is the year women’s MMA is going to take off. I will talk a bit about the perception of women’s MMA in general and the required skill sets. Here is an overview of women’s MMA created in mid-2009.



So let tackle the question on many people’s minds… what do you think of women fighting in general? Many men past puberty (before puberty women were as strong as men) think that since they are generally bigger and stronger – they are better fighters! So why watch women fighting (I mean if you are looking for good fighters)?

I think the perception that women are sugar and spice and everything nice and did not fight, was one that many girls and boys grew up with – I know I did. But in today’s society and with woman’s liberation, women today face the same challenges that men used to and many have to face them alone! Here is a video of a reporter vs a woman for context.


So what I am trying to say whatever prejudices you might have grown up with – the paradigm has shifted and today there are some really great women fighters! Women fighters that could hold there own with most men!

Sorry for the tangent but I wanted to get that off of my chest. Getting back on track for this topic, I believe that 2010 might just be the break-out year for women’s MMA! Think about this; in the old days when boxing reigned supreme, you would not have thought women’s boxing matches were as good as men’s boxing matches! I think that is because while boxing is a good form of fighting, it does to some degree depend on physical strength to pull it off.

I feel the same about women’s wrestling – physical strength is as important as learning the move. But with MMA (kick boxing, muay thai, jiu jitsu) moves, technique, flexibility, conditioning are as important as strength!!!

What I am trying to say is for women to get good at MMA, they have to master the requisite skill set that includes; jiu jitsu, punching, and kicking. Additionally some transition skills would help women out (like judo). Here is a video demonstrating how women can apply jiu jitsu moves to other women and stronger men.

The jiu jitsu makes a lot of sense for women because if they are taken to the ground – they will have an idea of what they can do in a real self-defense situation! Here is a girls muay thai training class in Belgium.

I still do not think there is any substitute for boxing training for one to have good inside hands although muay thai certainly does have some devastating knees and elbows thrown from the inside.

There is not anything quite the outside karate hands and kicks in modern MMA today. Sure I’ve seen some fighters that do use some karate techniques (Lyoto Machida and Cung Le) but they are in the minority.

So the answer to the question, is 2010 going to be the year of women’s MMA will depend on the caliber of the competition. It would be hard to take off with just a few great women fighters. According to Astrid Binanic of the Examiner here, 2010 should be an exciting year of women’s MMA. It is possible the FSC might take on a woman’s flyweight division. If that happens it would give a huge boost to women’s MMA.

I look forward to great things for women’s MMA in 2010. Here is a Women’s MMA Submission Roundup video to close this post.

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8 Responses to “The Year of Women’s MMA; 2010?”

  1. Dr. J Says:

    I’ll always remember a day at the studio when one of our female students knocked out the head instructor with a roundhouse kick to the head(not Jim)!!
    I never took a women as an opponent lightly after that :-)

  2. TheMartialArtsReporter Says:

    Would be really kinda cool.
    I just don’t know if there are enough top peformers to make it, yes, commercially viable, yet.
    But in my humble opinion, it’s just a matter of time.
    We can just continue to feature female fighters, martial artists and instructors to get the word out and to inspire girls and women to get involved in “the arts”.
    Thanks for provoking my thoughts, John.
    .-= TheMartialArtsReporter´s last blog ..Linda Denley, Karate Superwoman From Houston, Texas =-.

  3. John W. Zimmer Says:

    Hey Dr. J!

    I was teaching a former girl friend (a brown belt at the time) in a group class… I had just corrected her counter punch and looked away and yelled punch. She punched me while I was distracted and it was the funniest thing you ever saw – me rolling around the mat in pain. :(

    I don’t underestimate women to this day now!

    Hey Tiger,

    Yep… I agree the more high level fighters – the sooner the women will make it. That is partially why I devote so much of this blog with empowering stories about women fighters – so girls and women will know they can fight too! :)

  4. Natashia Basilone Says:

    Great Read! Looking forward to more Bookmarked the blog. Was also curious if anybody here could point me to some related material. Thanks in advance.

  5. Dewitt Caddy Says:

    Have got to say that I reckoned this was a very awesome post. I have continuously liked Mixed martial arts and it’s so fine to read a blog that takes Mma so importantly. I have just lately began to get in Mma lessons myself and also I’m absolutely wanting to end up with at least a tad competitive at the training. Not seeking to move in a octagon or whatever such as that just though! Any kind of tips on whatever I will need to be making time for in order to do well. Anyhow, pleaqse do continue the awesome task with this site and your brilliant reports.

  6. John W. Zimmer Says:

    Thanks Natashia,

    Hi Dewitt, I hope your training goes well!

  7. Cheryl from thatgirlisfunny Says:

    I love this post! Respect for women and our desire to learn to fight – and to fight well – runs through it. I train in MMA, I never plan to compete. I love the sport! I love to watch mma fights.

    I also understand how odd and strange it is for people (even me) to watch women fight. We just have to get used to it. I know someone who deals with deadly and bloody situations. He has a technical term for “getting used to it”.

    It’s a process. We can’t rush people to love the sport or to love the idea of women fighting. People are still getting used to the idea of men cage-fighting.

    I’m coming to this post late – I’m sure you’ve seen Paris Hilton doing her MMA training by now. If now, come visit my blog and take a peek 😀
    .-= Cheryl from thatgirlisfunny´s last blog ..Paris Hilton vs Roxanne Modafferi Demonstrating Different MMA Training Styles =-.

  8. John W. Zimmer Says:

    Hi Cheryl!

    Good point about “getting used to it.” While it is different fighting in the school vs the real thing. I think there is a lot of benefit getting used to fighting.

    I’m so glad that women are staking out their ground in MMA as like so many sports – women can be really great at this and it boosts anyone’s self confidence to see others do well.

    Kind of funny video of Paris Hilton… I always wonder with her how much is real and how much is for show. :)