When you think of mixed martial arts (MMA) beefs, you normally don't imagine a male and female fighter going at it at pressers or through social media. Sure, we recently had Henry Cejudo and Valentina Shevchenko trading barbs, but that was all for grins and giggles. And we also had Ronda Rousey's beef with Bryan Caraway a few years back, though that was a direct result of “Rowdy’s” disdain toward Miesha Tate.
Recently, though, top UFC Heavyweight contender, Curtis Blaydes, decided to take it upon himself to criticize a select few female MMA stars whom he says are solely getting push from promotions based on how they look in a bikini instead of their actual fighting abilities. Furthermore, "Razor" says a female fighter earning her keep in that manner is similar to how a stripper earns a living.
"I’m a girl dad so lemme make this clear: I’m not against female athletes getting publicity and media push and love from fans when it’s deserved and earned thru legitimate hard work and grinding," he said via a social media post.
"My issue is why do so many female athletes complain and gripe about being overly sexualized by fans/media but then at the same time many of them are profiting off said sexualization thru media endorsements, high profile placement on fight cards, and overall popularity which leads to many other financial opportunities?
"I don’t hate hustling either like if that’s how a female wants to pay her bills thru her body which is what many strippers do and i have no problem with either hustle but you can’t live life that way and expect to garner the same type of respect and love that real grinders get," he continued. "You can’t have your cake and your ice cream pick one, either you’re gonna hustle and make money off your athletic achievements and skill set or you’re gonna hustle and sell bikini pics and forfeit that respect hard work and sweat brings....this is an open table discussion just wanna hear y’all’s honest opinions."
Blaydes then singled out Paige VanZant and Rachael Ostovich as two UFC fighters he says are prime examples of getting media love and promotional push without producing inside the cage.
“So you telling me Paige Vanzant and Rachel Osto-whatever actually deserve time remain on the UFC’s roster for their ‘athletic achievements’ and they are not just on cards for their sex appeal?” he said. "Cause if I’m wrong about that then I guess the whole premise of my original statement is wrong and I apologize but if you’re a legit fan of MMA you couldn’t possibly believe the two females I mentioned are on the roster for anything other than the fact the look good in bikinis.”
After being labeled by Blaydes as a "sexy" fighter who loves posting bikini pics, yet has failed to evolve as a fighter over the last five years, Invicta FC combatant Pearl Gonzalez fired back.
"A fighter complaining how my looks keep me relevant and that my skills haven’t improved. The fact you are today years old and still can’t speak a full sentence blows my mind," she said.
After Blaydes defended his speech impediment, he challenged Gonzalez to defend what he perceived as a lack of growth as an MMA combatant.
"This is exactly an excuse! I’m a convicted felon and have read more books than you have w ur degree,” said the former UFC contender. “I put in work every single day in EVERY area of my life including my sport. I am 100% persistent and consistent in my growth. Your opinion is irrelevant, stop hating BRUH!"
"To be 100% honest I wasn’t talking about his speech impediment. I was talking about the stupid topics he chooses to speak on. We have such a huge platform & to choose to tear down women is so sad.
“We’re both from Chicago … a city full of violence ... somewhere we need to uplift,” Gonzalez continued. “I used to shout this man out for being from the same city as me. I used to be a fan. Why not reach out & try to help women instead of criticizing?” added Pearl before signing off with one last hit at Curtis, telling him that he not only shamed her, but all women.”