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What’s up with the AFL’s female division?

A week or two ago the AFL announced that they had signed Tara LaRosa to a six figure contract, and not the kind of six figure contract you win on the Ultimate Fighter. A *good* six figure contract … like half a million plus. Now I’m happy for Tara, but it seems to me like the AFL has a couple of screws loose if they think they’re going to be able to justify that pricetag from a business point of view. Tara didn’t just become the highest paid female fighter … she’s up there with a lot of well known UFC fighters.

But I get what the AFL is up to … Tara LaRosa is considered the best female pound for pound fighter in mixed martial arts. So a part of building that fact up is paying her ‘best pound for pound’ money. What I don’t get is why they’re not setting up any proper competition for her. There’s been a lot of talk of a full fledged women’s roster, but the only name being thrown around so far is Kim freaking Couture.

LaRosa has been spending a lot of time in a war of words with Gina Carano, which is a fight that isn’t about to happen so long as Gary Shaw and EliteXC have anything to do with anything. So who is Tara LaRosa going to fight? If Tara and the AFL are going to harp on Gina for not facing the best, then I’d certainly hope they’re going to lead by example and fight the best competition out there. Here’s the consensus 135-pound list as put together by the people at Normally I’m not a big fan of rankings, but in this case there’s way too many people who know way too little about women’s MMA to judge accurately for themselves.

1. Tara La Rosa 14-1-0
2. Shayna Baszler 19-4-0
3. Roxanne Modaferri 12-4-0
4. Takayo Hashi 12-1-0
5. Amanda Buckner 11-5-1
6. Vanessa Porto 8-3-0
7. Hitomi Akano 13-5-0
8. Tonya Evinger 6-3-0
9. Julie Kedzie 8-7-0
10. Sarah Kaufman 7-0-0

The only fighter in the top five that’s signed to EliteXC is Shayna Baszler, so it’s not gonna be brain surgery to line up some good matches. Roxy Modafferi is on a 5 win streak right now and represents the biggest challenge out there to LaRosa. Amanda Buckner has beat Shayna Baszler twice, which would be a nice feather in the cap for the AFL when Baszler inevitably claims an EliteXC belt. And Takayo Hashi has some serious ground skillz.

So the talent is there and it’s available. The AFL is talking big about their intentions to really push women’s MMA, but it will be interesting to see if they actually follow through or line up a series of barbie dolls with middling records for Tara to knock down.

  • Amy Robinson

    hey, I can make 135, I’ll be waiting for the AFL’s call.

    lol, the ass beating might not be too much fun, but that money sure does look nice!

  • koolpaw

    Actually I think Hashi san should fight at 125 when she will face to dangerous fighter like Tara. She alredy fought Amanda at 135, but her weight was only 127 at weigh-in !!! OMG its the weight she fight at Smackgirl 58kg. with that weight she faced to that great Amanda??? Scary brrrrrrr .

    And fightlinker dropped several important names.
    Rosi Sexton at 125. she wil fight at 130 against Debi Purcell in Elite. Roxy can make 130 she said. soo… wow

    And Molly Helsel at 135, Kaufman got ranked in to the top 10 for the voctory over Molly and Ginele. female 135 class has a lot of talents seriously. And its the one of the division we can watch the most exciting fights and competitions.

    AFL got signed with JanFinney too. Now the time of rematch of Finney vs. Miesha Tate in a big stage to make up last controversial dicision at Hook n Shoot !

  • Steve

    “So a part of building that fact up is paying her ‘best pound for pound’ money”

    Paying her top “pound for pound” money is one thing. Paying her 16 times what the next closest bidder is offering is just colossally stupid.

    “Roxy Modafferi is on a 5 win streak right now and represents the biggest challenge out there to LaRosa.”

    Tara already has a win over Roxy (albeit by decision). I’d rather see her fight Hashi.

    Also, no offense to Julie Kedzie, but the fact that she is considered a top 10 fighter just illustrates the lack of depth in womens MMA. This becomes even clearer when you see that fighters like Ginelle Marquez, Molly Helsel, and Tama Chan barely missed the cut, or that Debi Purcell made the top 15 despite only having one fight in the last six years.

  • DannyP72

    Um…. what happened to Megumi Fujii being considered the female no1 P4P?

  • evilfilth

    Of the fighters on the list, the only ones LaRosa hasn’t fought/beaten are Hashi, Porto, Evinger, and Kaufman. I would like to see LaRosa fight Hashi and Kaufman, despite the fact that LaRosa will wear Hashi down with a weight advantage and Kaufman needs to face someone on the list.

  • kentyman

    I wanna see Roxy fight more.

  • fightlinker

    I like Mega Megu too but she’s had slim competition in her weight class. Most of the people she’s fought have had middling to terrible records. 135 is where the toughest female fighters are and LaRosa has pretty much beaten all comers thus far.

  • Reverend Clint

    LOL “slim” competition.

  • koolpaw

    oh and one more or two. Kelly kobold and her younger team mate…
    Kaitlin Young
    After that loss on CBS some of bloggers started to say “young has been overhyped” . BS

    Kaitlin is still the brightest hope at 135-140 aside Kaufman. Shes only 22 or 23 this year? less than 1 year since she has started to train MMA. And she won Miesha Tate by that crazy KO.

    EliteXC, AFL whichever if they really want to catch up to UFC, they should push female division with those top fighters like Tara at AFL, Shayna at EliteXC, Amanda, Roxy, and new faces Kaitlin, Kaufman.

  • fightlinker

    There’s enough really great talent out there to make a really killer division. Let’s hope promoters stop sleeping on it.

  • AJB

    Kaufman, like a few others on the list, is stuck in contract limbo right now. She’s been unable to get anything set up since HCF folded. It’s like every promoter is waiting for someone else to pick up and feature a bunch of fighters in this class to see if it works, and no one is willing to make the first move.

  • MrNiceGuyMMA

    It has to be said but female fighters who look more like men are not fun to watch. Someone post a link besides Gina of an at least semi attractive female fighter.

  • fightlinker

    I guess you prefer to watch sexy men like Roger Huerta, huh?

  • Amy Robinson

    ^ Roger Huerta is so hot it seriously wouldn’t be that gay for a straight guy to think that.

    Anyways, I find for me personally, I have a tough time ranking Japanese women fighters in with American women simply because I don’t have the access to thier fights and general info.

    I also have a hard time placing the Japanese fighters in because the women’s scene in Japan, and Roxy may be able to attest to this, seems to be much more competitive than here in the US. Womens fighting has been kosher over there much longer than here, where it’s really only now begining to pick up speed.

    Some other International fighters, I myself would probably include over some of lower listed Americans would be Michelle Tavares (most definately) and Carina Damm from Brazil. Rosi Sexton, may possible be up there aswell, even though she has that loss to Carano.

    I really think Lisa Ward deserves some consideration for the top 10 too.

    We better start looking out for Kid’s wife with the Gi and all, pretty soon too. She’s probably gonna be just good simply by osmosis.

  • MrNiceGuyMMA

    Nah, Huerta is pretty hot and all but I like me some titties and a pussy. But seriously, I don’t much care for women fights yet. I have yet to be entertained by those bulldykes.

  • Steve

    I enjoyed Tara Larosa’s win over Amanda Buckner, and that is about as much ugly as you can fit into a ring short of matching up Tim Sylvia & Matt Lindland.