Saturday, March 3rd 2012 will mark the second time ever that a women’s mixed martial arts fight will main event a major promotional show in North America.
Strikeforce: ‘Tate vs. Rousey’ is headlined by Olympic bronze medalist Ronda Rousey (4-0) against wrestler and current Strikeforce women’s bantamweight champion Miesha Tate. A women’s title fight hasn’t headlined a Strikeforce event on this scale since, Haywire star Gina Carana fought Cris ‘Cyborg ‘ Santos.
Ultimate Fighting Championship president Dana White who isn’t a huge fan of women’s MMA due to it’s lack of depth seems to believe this will be a success.
Two hot and talented chicks fighting? Sounds good, no?
Let’s look back at some of the biggest draws in women’s combat sports as we celebrate what may be the final ‘breakthrough’ for legitimacy that WMMA has longed for.
Event: Strikeforce: 'Carano vs. Cyborg'
Date: August 15, 2009
Location: HP Pavilion (San Jose, California)
The So Cal boys of Strikeforce decided they could no longer hide the biggest draw in the promotion, Gina Carano no longer and they had the perfect way to sell WMA as legit.
The 'beauty and the beast' were paired up as then undefeated Gina Carano (7-0) fought Cris Cyborg Santos (7-1) in the main event. The risk paid off as 13,976 fans attended and the gate (s) was $736,000. The viewership was tallied at 576,000 on Showtime which ranks it higher than previous big shows Strikeforce: 'Shamrock vs. Diaz' and future show Strikeforce: 'Miami' which had both Nick Diaz and former NFL great Herschel Walker.
Strikeforce didn't get it happy ending as Carano ended getting pounded by 'Cyborg' and a stoppage at the 4:59 mark of the first round.
Gina Carano has not fought since and recently Cris Santos has been busted for steroids. Regardless, the try from Strikeforce was a success and is a reason why they are taking the risk on Tate and Rousey.
Event: Ali/Frazier IV 'The Next Generation'
Date: June 8th, 2001
Location: Verona, New York
The first time two women ever headlined a pay per view card in boxing was between two of the richest bloodlines. The daughters of Muhammad Ali and Jo Frazier squared off in a defense of their father's trilogy in a family feud.
Ali's daughter Laila fought Frazier's daughter Jacqui in an eight round affair that was nothing like their father's famous fights. It was held in a shady tent like structure that sat upon a Native reservation and the build up was a lot like their dads with Ali calling Jacqui 'ugly' and 'ignorant.
"She Bee Stingin' who was 23 at the time beat the 16-year old older 'Sister Smoke' and at the end of the day it was not the 'Thrilla in Manilla' and thankfully nobody remembers it like they do with the classics displayed by their fathers.
Oh, Ali won if you cared.