Miesha Tate is going to headline UFC 200 in her MMA match with Brazilian Amanda Nunez.
While women have been struggling to gain their fair share of attention in their respective sports, it’s highly ironic how women’s MMA has become a venue that’s gained such traction.
Men have always dominated combat sport, but thanks to UFC’s aggressive marketing strategy and their female fighters’ individual promotions, they are getting so much attention from fight fans.
“Miesha is the woman who beats the woman who beat the woman. She’s the champ,” White said. “What Miesha accomplished, you can’t disrespect that. She should be the main event. It’s the right thing to do.” UFC president Dana White said.
Tate has done so much for women’s MMA even during her two losses. Her well-documented rivalry with Ronda Rousey since 2011 has been credited for bringing women’s MMA into the UFC, which was also confirmed by Dana White in one of his interviews.
This may be partly because of the marketing strategies employed by the fighters themselves and the organization’s platform. The same success cannot be said of female boxers, where they are hardly featured, and most of them have to travel to far-flung places just to score a match that isn’t even covered by the networks.
It’s also about skill, and female boxers abound with skill, fighting abilities, and more, but somehow it’s not getting the same following as with their MMA counterparts.
They do their share, too, of promoting their fights, but it hasn’t been as successful since Laila Ali’s departure from the sport.
Boxing promoters need to take more financial risks of getting more women to box. Let them headline cards, make them part of big fights, and see how it goes. One can hardly point a reason why it won’t be as successful or surpass women’s MMA.
Perhaps what women’s boxing needs were a steaming rivalry similar to Tate and Rousey’s years ago.
Imagine Heather Hardy and Maureen Shea is battling it out for dominion over New York. I asked Hardy’s promoter Lou Dibella about this and personally got approbation, but are the big networks going to put money on this?
Former world champion, Shane Mosley certainly thinks so, as with many others. But it still doesn’t seem like much is going to change when it should have long ago.
The best audience knows how to appreciate the skill, regardless of sport. When people compete in sports we ought not simply see men or women, only athletes.
Photo courtesy: UFC.com