The most important aspect of the ProElite asset sale in my opinion was that it decided the path of women’s MMA for the next few years. We’d all heard the rumors that Zuffa was getting ready to welcome Gina Carano into their midst and that opened up all sorts of interesting possibilities. But with ProElite selling Gina’s contract to Strikeforce, we now have to rely on them to give women a fair shot in their organization. Up until now their promotion of the fairer sex has been limited to hacks like Kim Couture and the Karate Hottie fighting in horrific squash matches, so that wasn’t exactly a promising sign. Now look at this:
Mendez also released a list of female talent acquired in the purchase of ProElite assets.
Confirmed to fight in Strikeforce:
Conspicuously missing was Kaitlin Young, the Minnesota Mixed Martial Arts prospect, who was defeated by Carano in a controversial stoppage at EliteXC’s first CBS televised event. Mendez said Strikeforce opted not to acquire Young out of a desire to develop lesser-seen fighters.
“We want to build up new talent,” he said.
The women listed above share the common trait that none have faced Carano before. The decision not to pick up Young as well as Kelly Kobald for Strikeforce denotes a disturbing trend. A loss at the hands of Carano looks to be a death sentence of sorts for women hoping to compete on the biggest stage possible. Strikeforce is that stage at this point. Strikeforce seems to be in the Gina Carano business at this point, much more so than the women’s MMA business. And at this point that is the right monetary decision, but I can’t say it is the right decision for the sport.
I have no problem with promoters building a women’s division around Gina Carano the same way the WEC did at 145 with Urijah Faber. But there’s a difference between doing that and creating a division specifically as a feeder for the only star you’re interested in pushing. Kaitlin Young and Kelly Kobald both have great name power from their fights with Gina, but Strikeforce isn’t interested in them because they already served their purpose and as far as they’re concerned, that’s all they were good for. Well that’s fucking bullshit. Can someone please run a fucking decent women’s division and not just a sham that’s designed to promote Gina and Gina only???