For the first time since Gina Carano was clobbered by Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos in August of 2009, two women will headline a major mixed martial arts show. Carano’s sex appeal coupled with Cyborg’s viciousness made it the most anticipated female fight in the sport’s history.
Fast forward a total of 37 Strikeforce events, spanning over 31 months, Miesha Tate (Pictured) and Ronda Rousey will snap the streak tonight when the ladies vie for the 135-pound crown. Whether it has been courtesy of their cover girl good looks or back-and-forth banter, the bantamweights are garnering more hoopla than female fighters have in quite some time.
While the challenger is indifferent about why fans are tuning in, the champion, on the other hand, wants to put on a performance that will forever change the course of women’s MMA.
“I don’t care why people are watching my fights,” Rousey stated. “I look at YouTube comments, some people are watch women’s MMA because it’s the only time they can look at women’s bare feet. I care that there’s ratings, I don’t need to know why every person’s watching.
“I don’t need to sit down with every person watching and be like, ‘Oh, are you watching because they’re cute? Are you watching because they’re good fighters, or are you watching because of the smack talk or are you watching because you really like Miesha’s really neon green shorts? I don’t really care why they’re watch, I care that they are watching.”
To the surprise of no one, Tate disagreed with her arch nemesis’ perspective by taking a big picture approach to their heavily hyped shootout.
“I do care, personally, [of why the fans are watching],” Tate expressed. “I think it’s an interesting contrast. When you think of a woman and what you would think of feminine, you wouldn’t necessarily think of violence and fighting. So when you put it together in a package, it makes it an interesting selling point. The initial draw and why it’s getting so much attention is that we both carry ourselves as feminine women outside the cage, yet when we get in there, my goal is to have us respected more as athletes and fighters than for our looks.
“We’re gaining viewers for whatever reason, and then it’s our jobs to perform in the cage and show it’s not just about the looks. I’m hoping from after watching this fight, people will watch women’s fighting in the future – whether they are gorgeous or not.”
What will you be looking at tonight on Showtime – Two hot chicks scrapping, or a pair world-class athletes competing?
Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio hosts the festivities. Showtime broadcasts the main card at 10PM ET/PT.