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Tag: female MMA

Pound-for-Pound In-Depth: MMA’s Top Five Greatest Female Fighters

Megumi Fujii MMA UFC
(Submission savant Megumi Fujii. Photo courtesy of Sherdog.)

When "Carano vs. Cyborg" pulled in 856,000 viewers on Showtime, it proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that there could be a market for women’s MMA outside of Japanese all-girl leagues and one-off fights in the U.S. Strikeforce and Bellator are both planning high-profile women’s tournaments, and 2010 could be the year that women finally gain some measure of equality in the sport. In honor of the coming revolution, we’ve launched a top 5 women’s pound-for-pound list in our Power Rankings section; get to know these warriors below, and let us know what you think.

*****

1: Megumi Fujii (18-0)
Armed with grappling credentials that include two BJJ championships at the Pan American Games and nine All-Japan Sambo titles, Fujii has tapped 15 of her 18 opponents during her five-year MMA career, and outpointed the other three. Her relentless, inventive ground attack is reminiscent of Kazushi Sakuraba in his prime, and at just 115 pounds, the 35-year-old packs more talent per ounce than any other woman in the world. In a sport where retiring undefeated is a mythical feat, Fujii just might pull it off.
Watch this: Fujii’s "Alive" and "Hurt" highlight reels.

2: Tara LaRosa (17-1)
Tara LaRosa MMA
Though Gina Carano and Cris Cyborg draw more attention, hardcore fans know that Tara LaRosa is the most talented female fighter our country has to offer. The former women’s bantamweight champ of BodogFight, LaRosa has run through a who’s who of U.S. talent including Roxanne Modafferi, Amanda Buckner, Shayna Baszler, and Kelly Kobold. She hasn’t lost since 2003, and she’s finished her last seven fights by stoppage. The word is that she’ll be competing next in a women’s 125-pound tournament for Bellator; if that works out, get ready for a whole new batch of YouTube highlights.
Watch this: Tara LaRosa vs. Shayna Baszler

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Gina Carano and Cris Cyborg Will Do Their Best to Make 145 Pounds in Strikeforce Title Fight

Cris Cybrog Evangelista Santos MMA Strikeforce
Cris Cyborg Evangelista Santos MMA StrikeforceCris Cyborg MMA StrikeforceCris Cyborg Evangelista Santos MMA StrikeforceCristiane Cris Cyborg Santos MMA Strikeforce
(Cristiane "Cris Cyborg" Santos tosses around her 200-pound husband during a Showtime photoshoot. Click all images for larger versions. Photos courtesy of sports.sho.com via Fightlinker.)

MMA Junkie passes along some details on the August 15th Strikeforce title fight between Gina Carano (7-0) and Cristiane "Cris Cyborg" Santos (7-1), informing us that the match is scheduled for five three-minute rounds, and will be contested at a weight of 145 pounds. So in other words, women can fight for 15 minutes just like the boys, as long as it’s in the context of a blockbuster title fight. (Yay, equality!)

Of course, that "145" is the more troubling number when it comes to these two. Cyborg famously came in seven pounds over the 145-pound limit for her last fight against Hitomi Akano, while Carano’s long history of scale fails include weighing in at 144.5 for a 140-pound fight against Kaitlin Young, and the infamous naked-behind-a-towel situation prior to her scrap with Kelly Kobold in October. While Cyborg blamed "woman problems" for missing weight, Carano probably should have been competing at 145 all along — though after a 10-month layoff, missing weight again is always a possibility. Good luck to both of these dangerous, water-retaining warriors.

"Carano vs. Cyborg" will be held at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, California; tickets go on sale this Monday.

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