женскихsingle combat



Mixed martial arts

Mixed martial arts
Priscilla Brownfield on top of Jordan Sprague
Reprint from the page "Jason Wright Photography"
web resource 'Flickr' with the author's permission

Русская версия

Mixed martial arts (MMA) is a full contact combat sport that allows the use of both striking and grappling techniques, both standing and on the ground, from a variety of other combat sports and martial arts. MMA was previously known as NHB (“No Hold Barred” fighting) but this term now technically retired. Nowadays, MMA became one of the most attended sports with a pay-per-view business that rivals boxing and professional wrestling.


Octagonal cage

Fighting gloves

Fighting gloves

Gina Carano
Gina Carano, "the face of female MMA"
Wikimedia Commons

Gina Carano
Gina Carano attacking her opponent
bay Integrated Marketing

Cyborg Vs Catano
"Female fight of the century"
In the biggest and most anticipated fight in the history of women’s mixed martial arts, formidable densely tattooed Cris “Cyborg” of Brazil registered a brutal 4:59, first-round TKO (punches) over experienced and skillful but more feminine Gina Carano.

Kaufman vs Yabushita
Kaufman vs Yabushita
Wikimedia Commons

MMA roung punching
Wikimedia Commons

MMA standing
Female fighters square off in an MMA fight.
Wikimedia Commons

Rousey VS Tate
Ronda Rousey, top, and champion Miesha Tate fight for the Strikeforce women's bantamweight title in Columbus, Ohio. Rousey won via first-round submission. (March 3, 2012)
Photo credit: Strikeforce/Esther Lin. Long Island Newsday

Rousey wins by armbar
Ronda Rousey won all her bouts by armbar
Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/USA Today. Bleacher Report

Originally, MMA were designed as a way to bring the best combat systems and the strongest fighters to light. Usually, MMA fights run in special octagonal cages, sometimes - in the boxing rings. Semi-gloves (without finger covers) are put on participant hands (like gloves for taekwondo). Such semi-gloves allow fighters to box as well as to wrestle (and even to use fingers for hair pulling in "no-hold barred" fights, which are not allowed now).

Pancration There are (and used to be) several different names for mixed style fighting and its variations: hand-to-hand combat, extreme fight, ultimate fight, freefight, mixfight, Vale Tudo (a Portuguese term meaning "anything goes"), Shooto (an English transliteration of the Japanese words Shu To, which loosely translates to "learn combat"), pancrase, etc. The MMA came from the ancient Greek Olympic sport pankration that combined striking and grappling techniques.

Usual legal techniques using by MMA fighters include: general grappling, chokeholds, joint locks, leg trips, kicks, knee strikes, punches, takedowns and throws. Illegal techniques include (not always all) biting, elbow strikes, eye-gouging, forearm strikes, hair pulling, head butting, pressure point techniques, kicking or kneeing the head of a downed opponent, small joint manipulation and strikes to the groin, spine or throat.

As a result of the MMA events, martial arts training and the understanding of the combat effectiveness of various strategies have changed dramatically over the last ten years. MMA competition has indicated that there are three distinct phases in unarmed fighting: Stand-up fighting; Clinch fighting and Ground fighting.

Each organization and promoter determines its own rules (in accordance with a local government regulation). For instance, kicking and kneeing a downed opponent are allowed in Pride but not in UFC. At the same time, elbows to the head/face are allowed in UFC but not in Pride.

Modern fighting strategies

The following is a breakdown of the different fighting styles of modern MMA. With essentially no exceptions, all successful fighters train with (and thus practice against) experts in all disciplines used today. Howerer, most fighters base their overall strategy on one particular style and become associated with it.

Sprawl-and-brawl is a stand-up fighting tactic that consists of effective stand-up striking, while avoiding ground fighting, typically by using sprawls to defend against takedowns. A sprawl-and-brawler is a usually a boxer, kickboxer or Muay Thai fighter who has trained wrestling to avoid takedowns and tries to keep the fight standing.

Clinch-and-pound is a clinch fighting tactic that consists using a clinch hold to prevent the opponent from moving away into more distant striking range, while at the same time striking the opponent using knees, stomps and dirty boxing techniques. Clinch-and-pounders are usually wrestlers that have added in components of the striking games. Often, wrestlers that have added the striking game are partial to strikes from within the clinch (particularly wrestlers who have developed a strong clinch game already). In the case that an exchange on the feet does not go in their favor, they can bring the fight to the ground quickly as their true expertise lies in wrestling, so they are ultimately less timid about trading blows.

Ground-and-pound is a ground fighting tactic consisting of taking an opponent to the ground using a leg trip, takedown or throw, obtaining a dominant position, and then striking the opponent. Ground and pound is also used as a precursor to attempting submission holds. Russian female heavyweight judokas Svetlana Gundarenko and Irina Rodina used similar tactics at the MMA tournament in Japan. Technique consisting in slamming (hurling) an opponent on the floor sometimes is used in such positions. The move is very efficient (and dangerous) against an opponent (especially lighter) who clutches at you or clings to you or accomplishes a hold technique. Slamming the opponent to the ground helps release from clutches and allows to break down the opponent's resistance and to accomplish a submission.

Ground and pound is sometimes referred to as lay-and-pray, when combatant is using his or her positioning to rest, and not to advance in position or using effective striking. These two styles are used by wrestlers or other fighters well-versed in defending submission holds and skilled at takedowns. They take every fight to the ground, maintain a grappling position, and strike (attack) until their opponent submits, is knocked out or is cut so badly that the fight can not continue.

Ground and choke/lock is a ground fighting tactic consisting of accomplishing a jiu-jitsu style technique in order to stop the opponent. This is the favorite tactic of judokas and jiu-jitsu wrestlers. Using this technique, a skillful wrestler sometimes defeats a bigger and a stronger opponent. An instant throw usually follows by a joint lock. The choke is accomplished in the “chest-back” position – by holding the opponent’s neck from behind while holding the opponent’s body by legs. Chokes by legs are rarer.

Thus there are four main ways to achieve an upright victory in MMA:
- Knockout
- Repeating punching to the unproteced head
- Choke
- Pain hold or joint lock

The most notable MMA competitions are:

- Pride Fighting Championships (1997-2007)
- World Extreme Cagefighting (2001-2010)
- International Fight League (2006–2008)
- EliteXC (2006–2008)
- DREAM (2008–2012)
- Strikeforce (2006–2013)
- Bellator Fighting Championships (2008–Present)
On April 30, 2011, UFC 129 set a new North American MMA attendance record, drawing 55,724 at the Rogers Centre in Toronto; the event also set a new MMA world record for the highest paid gate at $12,075,000 and is the highest gate in Toronto for any event.

Rules & Terms

Each organization and promoter determines its own rules (in accordance with a local government regulation)


Victory in a match is normally gained either by the judges' decision after an allotted amount of time has elapsed, a stoppage by the referee (for example if a competitor cannot defend himself intelligently) or the fight doctor (due to an injury), a submission, by a competitor's cornerman throwing in the towel, or by knockout.

Knockout (KO): as soon as a fighter is unable to continue due to legal strikes, his opponent is declared the winner. As MMA rules allow submissions and ground and pound, the fight is stopped to prevent further injury to the fighter.

Submission: a fighter may admit defeat during a match by:
- Tap on the opponent's body or mat/floor
- Verbal submission

Technical Submission: the referee stops the match when the fighter is caught in a submission hold and is in danger of being injured. Often it is when a fighter gets choked unconscious; other times it is when a bone has been broken in a submission hold (a broken arm due to a kimura, etc.)

Technical Knockout (TKO): declared when the referee, official ring physician, the fighter, or the fighter's cornermen decide that a fighter cannot safely continue the match.

Referee stoppage: The refery may stop a match in progress if:
- A fighter becomes dominant to the point where the opponent cannot intelligently defend himself and is taking excessive damage as a result
- A fighter appears to be losing consciousness as he/she is being struck
- A fighter appears to have a significant injury such as a cut or a broken bone

Doctor Stoppage/Cut: the referee will call for a time out if a fighter's ability to continue is in question as a result of apparent injuries, such as a large cut. The ring doctor will inspect the fighter and stop the match if the fighter is deemed unable to continue safely, rendering the opponent the winner. However, if the match is stopped as a result of an injury from illegal actions by the opponent, either a disqualification or no contest will be issued instead.

Corner stoppage: a fighter's corner men may announce defeat on the fighter's behalf by throwing in the towel during the match in progress or between rounds. This is normally done when a fighter is being beaten to the point where it is dangerous and unnecessary. In some cases, the fighter may be injured.

Retirement: a fighter is so dazed or exhausted that he/she cannot physically continue fighting.

Decision: if the match goes the distance, then the outcome of the bout is determined by three judges. The judging criteria are organization-specific.

Forfeit: a fighter or his representative may forfeit a match prior to the beginning of the match, thereby losing the match.

Disqualification: a "warning" will be given when a fighter commits a foul or illegal action or does not follow the referee's instruction. Three warnings will result in a disqualification. Moreover, if a fighter is unable to continue due to a deliberate illegal technique from his opponent, the opponent will be disqualified.

No Contest: in the event that both fighters commit a violation of the rules, or a fighter is unable to continue due to an injury from an accidental illegal technique, the match will be declared a "No Contest".

Mixed martial arts promotions typically require that male fighters wear shorts in addition to being bare-chested, thus precluding the use of gi or fighting kimono to inhibit or assist submission holds. Male fighters are required by most athletic commissions to wear groin protectors underneath their trunks. Female fighters wear short shorts or short skirts) and sports bras or other similarly snug-fitting tops. Both male and female fighters are required to wear a mouthguard.
The need for flexibility in the legs combined with durability prompted the creation of various fighting shorts brands, which then spawned a range of mixed martial arts clothing and casual wear available to the public.

Combat disciplines contributed to MMA

A MMA fighter, who wishes to truly be successful in MMA, needs to have a base in the following martial arts and combat sports:

- Boxing
- Kickboxing and Muay Thai
- Freestyle & Greco-Roman Wrestling
- Jiu Jitsu
- Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
- Judo
- Karate
- Taekwondo
- Sambo
- San Shou

Due to peculiarities of the MMA, some tactics adapted from the traditional martial arts which techniques are used in MMA can be either effective or not as effective as they are in particular martial arts. For instance: boxing stances which lack effective counters to leg kicks and the Muay Thai stance which is poor for defending against takedowns due to the static nature, or Judo and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, techniques which must be adapted for No Gi competition. It is common for a fighter to train with multiple coaches of different styles or an organized fight team to improve various aspects of their game at once. Cardiovascular conditioning, speed drills, strength training and flexibility are also important aspects of a fighter's training. Some schools advertise their styles as simply "mixed martial arts", which has become a style in itself, but the training will still often be split into different sections.

Under the Unified Rules of Mixed Martial Arts, athletes compete for three five-minute rounds, with championship matches waged over five five-minute rounds. Scoring, like boxing, is done on a ten-point system, with the winner of the round receiving ten points and the loser nine points or less. Unlike boxing, MMA matches are scored not only for effective striking attacks, but for ground fighting effectiveness, submission and takedown attempts and defense, as well as ring generalship.

Bouts end via knockout, referee, corner or doctor stoppage, or submission. When a bout ends by submission, the fighter either verbally or physically “taps out,” signaling that he has had enough

The rules include: licensing, medical examinations, approved gloves, weight classes, time limits, rounds and mandatory drug testing.


A ring-side doctor attends to a fighter following a loss. Mixed Martial Arts competitions have changed dramatically since the first Ultimate Fighting Championship in 1993, specifically with the inception of the Unified Rules of Mixed Martial Arts. A paucity of data on injuries that occur in MMA and the resulting concerns and controversy with regard to MMA’s safety remain. Several recent studies indicate that the overall injury rates in MMA competitions are similar to other combat and martial art sports, including boxing and karate.

How to eliminate an opponent in a MMA fight
Cyborg defeats Carano
Detail information about submission/knockout techniques in MMA fights
Statistics of submissions and stoppages in female MMA fights

Best Women MMA Knockouts - 2013-2014 (FC banned No. 3 video clip)

Some History

Women's MMA from the past

ReMix tournaments. Photo and videos from the Marloes Coenen personal website
To watch a clip clisk on the picture

Extreme fight in the ring

Svetlana Guindarenko holds Kyoko Inoue

Extreme fight in the ring

Megumi Yabushita attempts to attack giant Svetlana Guindarenko

Extreme fight in the ring

Irina Rodina pressing Erin Toughill

Extreme fight in the ring

Marloes Coenen instantly defeats huge Becky Levi and break her arm by fly armbar

Extreme fight in the ring

Marloes Coenen attacking Megumi Yabushita

Extreme fighting in "Fighter Girls

Extreme fight in Japan
Laura D'Auguste in action

Shooto fight
Shooto bout. Elisabeth Holmstroem in attack

Shooto fight
Irma Verhoef against Marc Geffene

Bouts in "Smack Girls"

Extreme fight in Japan

Extreme fight in Japan

California "Extreme Catfighting"

Extreme fight in Japan

Extreme fight in Japan

Extreme fight in Japan

Extreme fight in Japan

Extreme Chickfights episode

Extreme fight in Japan

Extreme fighting in DWW (hairpulling allowed)

Extreme fight in Japan
Extreme fight in Japan
Extreme fight in Japan

Takedown shooto technique
Marloes Coenen Website

Shooto Techniques

Pankration During the Classic Greek era there existed an ancient Olympic combat sport, known as Pankration which featured a combination of grappling and striking skills, similar to modern mixed martial arts. This sport originated in Ancient Greece and was later passed on to the Romans.

The movement that led to the creation of the American and Japanese mixed martial arts scenes was rooted in two interconnected subcultures and two grappling styles, namely Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and shoot-wrestling. The former was based on the Vale Tudo events in Brazil; the latter led to creation of the Japanese “Shooto” school. In fact, shoot-wrestling also gave rise to the staged shows called “professional wrestling” widely popular in some countries, particularly, in Japan, USA and Mexico.

Various mixed style contests took place throughout Europe, Japan and the Pacific Rim during the early 1900s. The combat sport of Vale Tudo that had developed in Brazil from the 1920s was brought to the United States by the Gracie family in 1993 with the founding of the “Ultimate Fighting Championship“ (UFC). The more dangerous vale-tudo-style bouts of the early UFCs were made safer with the implementation of additional rules, leading to the popular regulated form of MMA seen today. Originally promoted as a competition with the intention of finding the most effective martial arts for real unarmed combat situations, competitors were pitted against one another with minimal rules. Later, fighters employed multiple martial arts into their style while promoters adopted additional rules aimed at increasing safety for competitors and to promote mainstream acceptance of the sport. The name mixed martial arts was coined by television critic Howard Rosenberg, in 1993, in his review of UFC 1. The term gained popularity when the website newfullcontact.com, then one of the biggest covering the sport, hosted and reprinted the article. Following these changes, the sport has seen increased popularity with a pay-per-view business that rivals boxing and professional wrestling.

While mixed martial arts were initially practiced almost exclusively by competitive fighters, this is no longer the case. As the sport has become more mainstream and more widely taught they have become accessible to wider range of practitioners of all ages. Proponents of this sort of training argue that it is safe for anyone, of any age, with varying levels of competitiveness and fitness.

Timeline of major events in the MMA world:

Ancient Greece
Late 19th century
Late 1880s
Early 1900s

1960s and 1970s

Mid/Late 1990s


Hybrid martial arts
Early NHB and Mixed Style contests
Edward Barton-Wright and his "Bartitsu"
Merikan contests (Japanese slang for “American fighting”)
Early Vale Tudo and Gracie Challenge
(invitation issued by some members of the Brazilian Gracie family)
Bruce Lee and his doctrine Jeet Kune Do;
Robert Beal/Fred Degerberg and their popularization of Bushido (“the way of the warrior")
Antonio Inoki and “Ishu Kakutogi Sen” ("all-around martial arts")
Shooto forms
First professional Shooto event
First ”Desafio” ( "style vs. style" - rivalry between BJJ and Luta Livre in Brazil) event
Pancrase forms
UFC forms
International Vale Tudo
PRIDE FC and UFC era
New Jersey State Athletic Control Board develops Unified rules
Zuffa buys UFC
The Ultimate Fighter Debuts
US Army begins sanctioning MMA
UFC dominance and international growth
Zuffa buys WFA and WEC
UFC 66 generates over a million PPV buys
Zuffa buys PRIDE FC
EliteXC: Primetime gains 6.5 million peak viewers on CBS
Strikeforce holds 1st major card with female main event
WEC merged with UFC
Zuffa buys Strikeforce
UFC on Fox gains 8.8 million peak viewers on Fox

Women's competition

While mixed martial arts are primarily a male dominated sport, it does have female athletes. Female competition in Japan includes promotions such as the all-female Valkyrie, and JEWELS (formerly known as Smackgirl). However, historically there has been only a select few major professional mixed martial arts organizations in the United States that invite women to compete. Among those are Strikeforce, Bellator Fighting Championships, the all female Invicta Fighting Championships, and the now defunct EliteXC.

There has been a growing awareness of women in mixed martial arts due to popular female fighters and personalities such as Megumi Fujii, Miesha Tate, Cristiane "Cyborg" Santos, Ronda Rousey, Gina Carano and Ronda Rousey among others. Carano became known as "the face of women's MMA" after appearing in a number of EliteXC events. This was furthered by her appearances on MGM Television's 2008 revival of their game show American Gladiators.

Women competed in various formats, both in the cage and on the ring. One of the most famous events were "ReMix" / "L-1" tournaments in Japan, where women prove their great capabilities in free-style fighting. The tournaments were de facto the MMA world women's championships. Women's MMA was covered by the International Sport Combat Federation (ISCF). The federation established MMA rules and weight categories (even though many women's events are run regardless weight).

Aside from all-female organizations, most major Japanese male dominated promotions have held select female competitions. These have included DEEP, MARS, Gladiator, HEAT, Cage Force, K-1, Sengoku, Shooto (under the name G-Shooto), and Pancrase (under the name Pancrase Athena).

In the United States, prior to the success of the "The Ultimate Fighter" reality show that launched mixed martial arts into the mainstream media, there was no major coverage of female competitions. Some early organizations who invited women to compete included, International Fighting Championships, SuperBrawl, King of the Cage, Rage in the Cage, Ring of Combat, Bas Rutten Invitational, and HOOKnSHOOT. From the mid-2000s, more coverage came when organizations such as Strikeforce, EliteXC, Bellator Fighting Championships, and Shark Fights invited women to compete.

Outside of Japan and the United States, female competition is almost exclusively found in minor local promotions. However in Europe some major organizations have held select female competitions, including European Showtime, Shooto Europe, Cage Warriors, and M-1 Global.

Following Zuffa's acquisition of Strikeforce in March 2011, there has been lots of speculation concerning the future of women's competition, in term both of relevance and popularity. The next step was for the UFC to pick up women's MMA; however UFC President Dana White has been resistant. He has said, "There is not enough depth to create a women's division."

Rule differentiation

The traditional MMA rules have often been adjusted for female competitions because of safety concerns. In Japan, ReMix prohibited ground-and-pound and featured a 20-second time limit for ground fighting. This rule remained following ReMix's 2001 re-branding as Smackgirl, though the time limit was extended to 30 seconds. The rule was abolished in 2008.

In the United States, women's bouts organized by EliteXC saw three-minute rounds while those of Strikeforce were originally of two minutes' duration. These lengths compare to the more usual five minutes for men. Later, the rule was changed to allow for five-minute rounds.

Another form of rule differentiation is a change in both weight limits and weight classification. This has been seen in a number of organizations including, Strikeforce, Smackgirl, and Valkyrie.


One of the first major female MMA fights was Gina Carano's Strikeforce debut against Elaina Maxwell where Carano won via unanimous decision at Strikeforce: Triple Threat in San Jose on December 8, 2006.

Strikeforce has become the first major promotion in the United States to have held a female fight as the main event on August 15, 2009. The fight between Gina Carano and Cristiane Santos (Cyborg) attracted 856,000 viewers. Santos made history with her victory over Carano as she became the first Strikeforce Women's 145 lb Champion.

Disagreement / Controversy

Since its inception the role of women in mixed martial arts has been a subject of debate. Some observers have treated women's competition as a spectacle and a taboo topic. In December 2004, male lightweight fighter Takumi Yano refused to participate in a Pancrase event in protest of there being female bouts on the same card.

In fact, worldwide popularity of MMA has substantially changed the pattern of street fights which unfortunately often occur with increasing number of female participants. Many (if not the most of) contemporary brawls - both between males and between females - remind MMA bouts: brawlers usually start with punches and kicks and then continue on the ground – grappling and striking each other. The brawling conduct change is especially striking as witnessing wide spread girl brawling in MMA/UFC style. In fact, the stereotypes of fighting girls in the catfight style remain in the past – now the most of the girls know how to effectively fight using punches, kicks and grappling.

Amateur Mixed Martial Arts

Amateur MMA Amateur Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) is a full contact combat sport that incorporates striking (both standing and on the ground) and wrestling/grappling techniques. As governed by FILA (International Federation of Associated Wrestling Styles, the only international sports federation recognized by SportAccord and International Olympic Committee (IOC) that governs MMA), it is practiced within a safe and regulated environment which relies on a fair and objective scoring system and competition procedures similar to those in force in Olympic wrestling. Amateur MMA is practiced with board shorts and a rashguard along with approved protection gear that includes head gear, shin protectors, and gloves (7 oz.) that allow grabbing and holding the opponent for a comfortable application of grappling techniques. Amateur MMA counts eight weight categories for men and five weight categories for women:

Men: -62, -66, -71, -77, -84, -92, -100, +100 kg
Women: -53, -58, -64, -71, +71 kg

Apart from FILA, some other promoters hold female amateur MMA fights (according to their own rules), for instance, TUFF-N-UFF, ISCF (International Sport Combat Federation) and Fighters Girls.

Some history of female "no-holds barred" fights before 2005

As of 2005, two oldest and most well-known MMA promotions were UFC and Pride. Ultimate Fighting Championship(UFC) is a U.S.-based mixed martial arts organization. Fighters in the sport use combinations of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, boxing, wrestling, Muay Thai, submission wrestling and many other martial arts. The UFC is currently owned and operated by "Zuffa Entertainment, LLC. Pride Fighting Championships (or Pride) is a mixed martial arts organization based in Japan, promoted by Dream Stage Entertainment. Pride's rules result in similar styles of fighting as seen in Ultimate Fighting Championship in the United States. Unlike the UFC, where matches take place within a cage, Pride holds its bouts within a boxing style ring. Notable differences between Pride FC and the UFC are:

- Kicking and kneeing a downed opponent are allowed in Pride but not in UFC.
- Elbows to the head/face are allowed in UFC but not in Pride.

Women competed in various formats, both in the cage and on the ring. One of the most famous events was "ReMix" / "L-1" tournaments in Japan, where women proved their great capabilities in free-style fighting. The tournaments were de facto the MMA world women's championships. At that time, women's MMA is covered by the International Sport Combat Federation (ISCF). The federation established MMA rules and weight categories (even though many women's events are run regardless weight). As of 2005, just four ISCF MMA weight categories had advanced female fighetrs (according to the ISCF rank):

Bantamweight (125-135lbs/57-61.5kg). Number one: Laura D'Auguste.
Featherweight (135-145lbs/61.5-66kg). Number one: Kelly Kobald.
Lightweight (145-155lbs/66-70.5kg). Number one: Jen Case.
Welterweight (155-170lbs/70.5-77kg). Number one: Erin Toughill.

Japanese women made the history participating in UFC type tournaments since 1993. The first notable women's tournaments in UFC style was promoted by the Japanese company "LLPW" (Ladies Legend Pro-Wrestling) in August 1993 in Japan. Shinobu Kandori became the first champion defeated all her Japanese opponents. However, these tournaments became popular only after women all over the world started participating in the next competitions.

The most important later women's tournaments in UFC style in Japan were:

"Ultimate Challenge L-1 Tournament" (in octagonal cage), July 1995 in Tokyo. Winner: Svetlana Gundarenko, Russia.

UTT-Women's Vale Tudo Championship (in the ring), August 1996. Winner: Irina Rodina, Russia

"L-1 Show" (in octagonal cage), October 1998. Winner Shinobu Kandori, Japan (beat Svetlana Gundarenko via submission).

"ReMix World Cup" (in octagonal cage), December 2000. Winner Marloes Coenen, Netherlands (beat Megumi Yabushita).

"LLPW Title Tournament 2001" (in octagonal cage), November-December 2001. Winner: Carol Midori, Japan

"World ReMix Championship" (in octagonal cage), December 2004. Official winner: Megumi Yabushita, Japan (got the title due to disqualification Erin Toughill illegally knocking her down)

While in the first tournaments heavyweight judokas dominated on the arena (like Irina Rodina, 103kg and Svetlana Gundarenko, 150kg), later mobile combatants took over who possessed both grappling and hitting techniques taken from different martial arts. Good example: at the 1998 tournament mobile and skillful Marloes Coenen managed to submit robust Becky Levi in seconds taking her down by locking her arm and accomplishing back somersault forcing the instant submission (technique of the "Flying Armbar").

In November 1997" M-1 Mix-Fight World Championship" in the cage was held in St. Petersburg (Russia) with both men and women participation. (Some women's bouts were taped for the video called women cage fighting"). Irma Verhoef from Netherlands became a winner defeating Russian judoka Irina Ignatovich. In order to improve fight impression, period of time in "par terre" was limited. This rule increased chances of boxers and kickboxers against grapplers.

Female MMA competitions called "Hook N Shoot" (NHB fights) are held in USA since 2002. Hook N Shoot promoter Jeff Osborne suggested the idea of an all-woman’s Mixed Martial Arts event. On April 13, 2002, 14 female fighters (including Shannon Logan and Debi Purcell) came out into the ring and demonstrated great skills and will. The bout between Debi Purcell and Christine Van Fleet in 135lbs category squared off in the main event (Debi defeated Christine).

Very professional and skillful MMA fighters work in the club ““Fighter Girls” headed by Debi Purcell, the founder of "Women's Martial Arts Association". The girls participate in MMA-style competitions (Hook N Shoot tournaments, underground bouts and others) in different American states. The most of the participants are Brazilian jiu-jitsu and kickboxing masters including Shannon Logan and Zee Vzhesaliku. The girls in the club are so strong and trained that they fight not just with each other but also with men (see the picture). According to Shannon and Zee, the both sides of such mixed combat fight in full strength.

Besides the above mentioned clubs and promotions, a lot of other MMA promoters (particularly, in the US and Japan) involve women fighters in their events or hold all-female competitions. Female MMA tournaments and individual bouts are held before audience as well as in order to record them for sale. Currently, women's combined style fighting became very popular and it is seriously promoted by such organizations as Smack Girl (SG, Japan), DEEP (Japan), Ultimate Wrestling (UW), Ring Of Fire (ROF), Reality Submission Fighting (RSF), International Cage Combat (ICC), International Fighting Alliance (IFA), Ultimate Combat Sports (UCS), Bar Room Brawl (BRB), Minnesota Combat Sports (MCS), Shooto, Shooto Americas, Xtreme Fighting Organization (XFO), Ring of Combat (ROC), American Fighting Association (AFA) and many more.

Recently, female MMA bouts called "Reality fighting" began in the North American Grappler Association (NAGA). One of the most dangerous female MMA fighters Laura D'Auguste has got the women's title.

Besides straight athletic, 100% real MMA fighting events involving real combative women, bouts in the manner of MMA (quasi-MMA bouts) are held by female combat entertainment clubs and promotion, like DWW. These are not about fake foxy shows, these events include real fighting plus kind of beauty (erotic) demonstrations. Very precise name for such events invented in California - "extreme catfighting". Another club is called "Extreme Chickfights" where some bouts are 100% for real.

DWW promotes combat style "fighting in bikini". The DWW's daughter enterprise BSA ("Black Sea Amazons") promotes MMA-style fights in which hair pulling is allowed (it usually doesn't help to shorten long rolling over the floor though). Besides extreme fights in the ring, BSA organizes fights outdoors (in the sand beach, on the snow) in order to diversify the scenery.

Two well-organized MMA-style tournaments for not well-trained in martial arts were held in California, USA (they have been taped and named "Extreme catfighting"). The first tournament was running on the ring, the second one - in the cage. Although, the fighters were not high level martial artists, many bouts were quite fierce and ardent but didn't last too long and were not too much persistent though as the ones between well-trained MMA combatants (like in the Japanese tournaments). In absence of trained judokas, street fighters stood out there who were used to brutal fighting. Prior a bout, a referee introduces participants and announces their fighting background. For instance: "has experience in boxing" or just "a street fighter".

In fact, the DWW and the Californian competitions were real rather than fake. However, the promoters took care of demonstration of girls' "beauties" and attractiveness as well. The Californian girls wore shorts and loose t-shirts (without bras), which were stretched and torn up during fighting sometimes exposing bare flesh. The DWW girls wear more stable tops and quite short skirts. The girls from these promotions look attractive, slender and some even fragile. Nevertheless, they fought quite passionately and toughly. Looking timid at the pre-match interview beautiful girls from both clubs got all worked up as soon as she comes out into the ring.

Lately, "organized" street fights between girls became popular being taped for sale. It's unknown how the promoters manage to set on to fight, most likely they are attracted by a good prize in cash. Although the "techniques" in such a fight would be refer to mixed martial art, it stille a brawl without rules and a referee.

MMA promoters sometimes have problems with local authorities because this form of combat still is illegal in some regions. Many people (some of them have never seen MMA events at all) consider this show as a brutal dangerous gladiator battle. Probably, some time should pass to get used to this activity and to learn more about influence of this sport to people, particularly to women. However, once established, this combative activity became one of many other officially recognized combative sports. And it is very unlikely that it will be banned everywhere earlier than, say, boxing.

Episodes from MMA tournaments "HOOKnSHOOT" (2004-2005)

Kelly Kobald vs. Greta Hicks
Kelly Kobald vs. Greta Hicks
Site Kelat Graphy

Jennifer How vs. Roxanne Modafferi
Jennifer How vs. Roxanne Modafferi
Site Kelat Graphy

Ginele Marquez vs. Molly Helsel
Ginele Marquez vs. Molly Helsel
Site Kelat Graphy

Jan Finney vs Rikki Burnett
Jan Finney vs Rikki Burnett
Site Sher Dog

Erica  Montoya vs. Megumi Fujii
Erica Montoya vs. Megumi Fujii
Site Kelat Graphy

Tara Larosa vs Linda Langerak
Tara Larosa vs Linda Langerak
Site Sher Dog

Shinobu Kandori
Kelly Huehn vs Victoria Remington
Site Sher Dog

Jen Case vs Julie Ketzie
Site Sher Dog

NAGA. Reality fighting

Women's Title Fight: Laura D'Auguste (Tiger Schulmann Karate) vs. Amanda Buckner (Academy Mixed Martial Arts)


They made the history of female MMA

Top 15 Women’s Pound-For-Pound MMA Rankings as of January 1, 2014


1. “Rowdy” Ronda Rousey (8-0-0) - all the victories are achieved by armbars
2. Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino (12-1-0, 1 ND)
3. Alexis “Ally-Gator” Davis (15-5-0)
4. Jessica “Jag” Aguilar (16-4-0)
5. “Alpha” Cathilee (Cat) Zingano (8-0-0)
6. Jessica “Evil” Eye (11-1-0)
7. Barb “Little Warrior” Honchak (9-2-0)
8. Sarah Kaufman (16-3-0)
9. Michelle “The Karate Hottie” Waterson (11-3-0)
10. Sara McMann (7-0-0)
11. Jessica Penne (11-2-0)
12. Miesha “Cupcake” Tate (13-5-0)
13. Carla “Cookie Monster” Esparza (9-2-0)
14. Claudia “Claudinha” Gadelha (11-0-0)
15. Ayaka Hamasaki (9-1-0)

According to the MMA Ranks, the best MMA fighters for the last three years as of March 2005 are:

















The best MMA fighters before 2005

Shinobu Kandori
Shinobu Kandori

Carol Midori

Megumi Yabushita
Megumi Yabushita

Laura D'Auguste
Laura D'Auguste

Marloes Coenen
Marloes Coenen

Svetlana Gundarenko
Svetlana Gundarenko

 Marina Rodina
Irina Rodina

Irma Verhoef
Irma Verhoef

Unfortunately, UFC and other promoters block the most of good MMA videos from embedding into other web resources

Tuff-N-Uff: Ronda Rousey Vs Taylor Stratford

Amateur Female MMA Fight (BOH-III). Fatima Mallet vs. Kourtnie Goodman

Amateur Female MMA Fight (Extreme Catfighting). Dannie vs. Ginger. Round 1

Armenian MMA & Grappling Championship. Outdoor fight Varduhi Telalyan vs Elena Khachatryan

Heavyweight fight. Summer Torrey vs Amanda Maxfeild. Round 2

>> Combative activities

>> Combined styles

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