Female Heavyweights: The Struggle to Find Fights
Athleticism, numbers, and location are the three biggest problems when matchmakers are dealing with heavyweight female fighters and finding them fights. Now, I am not a matchmaker, so I do not know the exact struggle of trying to find a match for a heavyweight female. I am, however, a female fighter who happens to fight in the heavyweight division. Since my first fight in November 2013, I have had one other fight, which happened to be six months later. Six months may not seem like much in the grand scheme of things, but when you think about men who are fighting in MMA, it is not uncommon for them to have one fight a month. This is not because promotions did not want me on their fight card; they were struggling to find me a fight. I am not the only female fighter to experience this, as most other heavyweights have experienced the same struggles.
Athleticism and numbers go hand in hand when it comes down to female heavyweights being limited in the MMA world. Due to the fact that most women are not over 5”8’, fighting in the heavyweight range classifies us as overweight; shoot, I could stand to lose about 40 more pounds and I am 6”1’. This is where the athleticism comes into play. Most of the women in America who would fight in the heavyweight range have no sports or athletic background, not to mention want to get into a cage with another woman who wants to knock their lights out. This is why our numbers are low; however numbers are growing since WMMA has been taking off recently.
Location plays another huge factor in finding fights for female heavyweights. As an amateur fighter, promotions will only pay you so much money for travel. As I am in the middle of the country (Kansas), you would think it would be easy for me to be able to travel around to other fighters. This is absolutely false; in fact, most of my fellow heavyweights are located on the coasts of the country. Michigan, for example, has many heavyweights available, and when I say many, I mean about 10 in the area. The east coast is another place “crawling” with female heavyweights. The first girl I fought was from Oklahoma City, and even for amateurs, that is a pretty high travel cost, but the promotion I fight for was trying for several weeks to find me a fight and she finally stepped up.
If the numbers of female heavyweights grew, finding a fight would be easier, and there would be more fights available. Location will always be a factor because no matter how many heavyweights there are, if they are spread too far apart, those fights will not happen at the amateur level. As far as the future of female heavyweights, like I said before, it is growing and becoming more popular. Do I ever see a heavyweight division for females in the UFC? Only time will tell, but I don’t see it happening in the next ten years because of these limitations.