Men fighting women may soon become a reality if Shooto Brazil has its way. The combat sports promotion is attempting to book a mixed martial arts (MMA) fight pitting Emerson Falcao (0-1) against Juliana Velasquez (0-0) for this Friday night (Dec. 20, 2013) in Rio de Janeiro.
MMA Fighting has it straight from Velasquez:
"Andre Pederneiras came up with the idea. He asked Team Nogueira for a female fighter and my team believes I'm ready, so I accepted the challenge. My expectations are the best. I'm well trained to get there and win. I'm used to training with man every day. I'm a professional judoka and I know the adrenaline of the competition, I know how to handle this."
As expected, the Brazilian Mixed Martial Arts Confederation is in no big hurry to put itself in a position for a public relations nightmare if indeed faced with the worst-case scenario and will likely reject the bout once it receives the official fight card.
Eduardo Cruz speaks to Osiris Maia:
"There's nothing in the rules that specific prohibits a man to fight a woman, but when you interpret the rules you know that both athletes must be in the same level, so there's no way a man should be allowed to fight a woman. We haven't received the official card yet from the promotion, we'll get that tomorrow at the weigh-ins. They announced it to the media only, but if you ask me if we're allowing it to happen, I don't think so. I think it's a disparity. We'll see what's going on tomorrow at the weigh-ins."
Shooto Brazil was in the headlines earlier this year when one of its fighters, Leandro Souza, reportedly died from the negative effects of cutting weight (details). Stay tuned for more information on this developing story, as it becomes available.
In the meantime, does anyone think this fight should happen?