By Mike Kogan | October 11, 2012

I recently opened up to women's MMA. I was guilty of basically talking out of my ass when it came to women's MMA. I didn't know shit about it and didn't really pay attention to it, so I kind of had that whole homophobic attitude towards female MMA. It was kind of like, so what, there are a ton of men fighting, so why in the hell do I wanna watch women? Shannon [Knapp] flew me out there to the previous Invicta event, Invicta 2, so I was kind of forced into watching it because I was there. So I was watching it and it was just amazing to see the dedication these girls have to the fights, the tenacity in which they fight, and the skill level. They just bring it all. So basically, at the end of the day, if you are a fight fan, it doesn't matter if they got boobs or balls, they are fighting and you should be enjoying it. And this last Invicta that I just watched, Invicta 3, really did a 180 on my whole outlook on female MMA. The truth of the matter is I think both the fans and the media should really get behind an event like Invicta. Not because I'm cool with Shannon, but it's really the only event of its kind that allows women to fight and display their skills.

Man these girls go hard! I mean, they go hard. They fight more furiously than a lot of men. I have to say, out of the entire weekend of fights, this card was stacked from top to bottom with athletes with the desire to fight. These girls just don't stop. There was not a boring fight on the card. It was just amazing and it's a little sad to see that more sponsors and fans aren't getting behind it. I know the sponsorship money is tight right now, but there are still companies out there that make enough money where they can actually support female MMA just as a matter of a tax write-off. Just keep letting these girls fight because if Invicta fails, they have nowhere else to fight. They go back to run-offs on different cards with a fight here and a fight there when somebody decides to squeeze it in. They really don't have a platform where they can shine and progress like a built progression. I know Bellator had dabbled into female MMA, but with not really much consistency. Hopefully when they get to Spike network, they can recruit some good talent and start running some tournaments too. I mean, just watching these girls fight was just unbelievable. I mean, just amazing. You never have to hear a corner say go after it. These girls just go after it from the beginning of the fight to the final bell; just going for submissions and finishes. I think they had 10 to 12 fights and 2 went to a decision and one, I was actually glad it went to a decision because they got to keep fighting each other. Both of them were making their MMA pro debuts. They did great. And I'm really bad with names, so I don't know any of those girls' names, and I'm at fault for that, but hell, I don't know half of the dudes names, so…I'm not just being sexist.

But every one of those girls that fought on that card really put it out there, and the one thing you notice with the girls, and I actually tweeted this, they are fighting for the balls that the men fighters take for granted. It's like the men have balls and a lot of the times, they fight like sissies and these girls are trying to fight for recognition, so a lot of the times, they fight for the balls that men take for granted. And it's really sad nowadays. I think more attention needs to be paid to female MMA and there should be some kind of consolidated fan drive to support female MMA; not just by tweeting and watching, but financial support. Just tweeting and watching is great, of course, but at the end of the day, if you have a million viewers and it translates into zero dollars, then it means nothing. It really needs to start translating into some money and I think Invicta is kind of afraid to dabble into that territory because they are afraid it might drive away some of the fans. But if you are a fan of fighting and you are a fan of the sport, and you support the sport for real, not just with ribbons and fucking colors, you gotta support it with dollars. If Invicta is getting 200,000 views, if each one of those people would just chip in $5 to watch it, I mean, that's $100,000 and that can go a long way. And equally, I think that some of these TV stations need to pay attention to them. I think that Showtime, Spike or AXS should really show an interest in them because these girls just give you action. If you like fighting, I don't know why you wouldn't want to watch it. These girls really bring it. They have submissions, knockouts, and just all-around game.

I really don't see the reason why a network wouldn't get behind Invicta. If we can break the homophobic barrier or sexist barrier of men going, "I'm not watching girls fight," and like I said, I was guilty of that myself. I just wasn't interested in watching a bunch of girls fight. But truth of the matter is for the first time in a long time, I enjoyed a card from top to bottom. I really enjoyed the fights and the event is done very professionally. I think Shannon, who has a lot of experience doing this, she was able to polish it up real well and real quick. I mean, her third event and they threw 12 fights or so. It ran smoothly, the girls hit the marks, in and out of the cage, and there was no chaos going on. It was done very professionally. The event flow was very professional and that's a big factor for TV. They look for people who actually know what the hell they are doing. These people with very limited staff and a lot of hard work are really putting on a great event. The event quality is great, the production value is great, and if they got money coming in, they could boost it up a little bit and add a little more lighting and what have you. But all in all, it was top notch. The commentary was good with Julie Kedzie, who is very knowledgeable the way she breaks it down, and Mo adds his spin, and Mauro is always very energetic and very professional. It's the full package; I don't know why someone wouldn't want to get behind it.

And another thing that needs to be noted is that for someone to say that there isn't enough depth in female MMA, I think Shannon has started to show that there is. She has constantly added new names to the card and you always see new girls. I think in her case, since she added a variety of weight classes, it expands the possibilities. She's got the 105-pound division, 115-pound division, 125, 135 and 145, so she was able to kind of diversify things. Maybe there aren't enough 135-pounders, but when you have these two 105-pound girls putting it on, that's just as much fun to watch, it shows her talent pool and her ability to find fighters and I think she's done a great job. And it's just like anything else, if you create a platform for these girls to fight, more will want to get in. And a lot of times, people compare boxing to MMA in combat sports and the lack of female talent in boxing, so it's like why waste your time in MMA because if you look at boxing, they weren't able to do it. Really, it's apples and oranges because MMA comes from such a diverse mixture of many disciplines that it draws from a larger pool. A lot of the girls that fought came from wrestling, grappling backgrounds or Muay Thai. So it's not the same as boxing because boxing can only draw from boxing. MMA can draw from wrestlers, grapplers, Jiu Jitsu girls who are just learning enough boxing to survive to get the fight to the ground so that they can go for submissions. The talent pool is expanded so you can sustain it. It's a sustainable product.

I have Michele Gutierrez and we just signed with a major organization. They are going to make an announcement so I'm not really allowed to talk about it, but it's not a matter of girls acting like girls or not. In Michele's case, she is just her. I just noticed that about her. You don't have to act like you are super tough; you are tough already because you are in the cage fighting all of the time. That's tough enough. You have a sweet side to you or a feminine side to you; show that. There is nothing wrong with people wanting to hug you and feel like you can be just a cool chic to talk to about things other than fighting, and they will still watch you fight. Everybody has their own individuality in the sport and some of the girls wanna act like they are boys and that's fine. That's what they do so long as you're not forcing it. What becomes unnatural is when people try to force it and they don't need to force it because if you watch these girls in action, they are fucking tough. They don't have to act tough; they are really tough. Every one of those girls that fought on the Invicta 3 card is tough. Their tolerance for pain is second to none and their desire to fight and unwillingness to quit under any circumstances is second to none. So if you are a feminine type of girl, just act feminine; you don't have to act tough. There is no better way to earn respect if you are a fighter than by fighting. Just act like whatever you are and people will notice you. If these girls continue to fight the way they fought, then people are going to notice them. It doesn't matter if they show up super tough looking at the weigh-ins…I mean, look at Miesha Tate. She showed up at the Strikeforce weigh-ins and she looked like she was in a lounge with a super sexy dress and she was very feminine, and then she still put up a hell of a fucking fight. I have all of the respect in the world for Miesha Tate. She doesn't have to walk around acting like she's got a sack of balls.  We already know she does by the way she fights.

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