The future of women's MMA
The only relevant female mixed martial arts fighter that’s currently active, Cris “Cyborg” Santos, fights this weekend. Did you know that? I did, only because it’s my job to know. If I was a casual fan though, I wouldn’t have noticed. I would’ve seen all the news about Herschel Walker and I would’ve realized Nick Diaz and Bobby Lashley are also on the card, but Cyborg? It would’ve been a coin flip at best.
Obviously, they can’t promote her fight as heavily as they did when she was facing Gina Carano. At the same time, Strikeforce is the biggest promotion showcasing women’s MMA. And while it’s not there yet, a decision on the future of women's MMA is likely coming soon. Is women’s MMA going to be the next women’s tennis or the next WNBA?
People care about women’s tennis, and sometimes not just because the competitors are hot, while the WNBA plods along in oblivion. Now, without its biggest star, what’s going to happen to women's MMA?
I’m still on the fence, I don’t know if women’s MMA can be as entertaining as the real version. But, maybe there is a future beyond Carano. Perhaps it can go the route of the LPGA. There could be mild interest and basic recognition of extraordinary talent (Annika Sorenstam) and the occasional intriguing freak show (Michelle Wie).
In fact, that may be the best hope for women’s MMA. Not quite women’s tennis, but not as awful as the WNBA either.