That’s a big question, and one that may be answered on December 20, 2013, at Rio de Janeiro’s Shooto 45. If it happens, MMA history will be made as Emerson Falcao (0-1) and Juliana Velasquez (0-0) meet in a three-round bantamweight fight.
The reason we’re saying “if it happens” is because the fight is still not guaranteed to happen, a decision that will be made today (December 19th) at the weigh-ins according to Osiris Maia of the Brazilian Mixed Martial Arts Confederation in a statement made to MMAFighting.com:
There’s nothing in the rules that specific prohibits a man to fight a woman, but when you interpret the rules you know that both athletes must be in the same level, so there’s no way a man should be allowed to fight a woman… We haven’t received the official card yet from the promotion, we’ll get that (on Thursday) at the weigh-ins. I wasn’t informed about that yet. They announced it to the media only, but if you ask me if we’re allowing it to happen, I don’t think so. I think it’s a disparity. We’ll see what’s going on tomorrow at the weigh-ins.
While it seems to be up-in-the-air, www.shootosouthamerica.com appears confident that the the fight will go down at Shooto 45. Adding to the doubt that the fight will happen is Falcao’s statement on his Facebook that he’s injured and won’t be able to fight until next year. However, Shooto president Andre Pederneiras has said that Falcao will be able to compete on Friday night.
Velasquez is obviously excited about the opportunity:
Andre Pederneiras came up with the idea. He asked Team Nogueira for a female fighter and my team believes I’m ready, so I accepted the challenge. My expectations are the best. I’m well-trained to get there and win. I’m used to training with man every day. I’m a professional judoka and I know the adrenaline of the competition, I know how to handle this.
Should men and women fight in MMA?
I have no doubts about a woman’s ability as an MMA fighter, and I have no doubts that there are many women fighters who can hold their own against a male fighter. However, men are stronger than women. One could say that a female fighter isn’t your average woman, and one would be right, however, a male fighter isn’t your average man, essentially negating any training they have as fighters. So, logically, it’s a match that’s no different than a regular Joe and regular Jane squaring off in a bar fight.
There’s a deeper question to be asked: What message does it send to society? From day one, boys have been taught not to hit girls (which is probably why Falcao is looking for a way out of the fight), and whether or not you want to admit it, there will be a subliminal message sent that it’s OK to fight and hit girls if this fight goes down.
It’s a tricky thing, this equality issue between men and women. Sure, women should have the right to fight men in the MMA, but should they?
Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.
Rock Hard \m/