First Ever MMA Fight Between Man And Woman Set To Take Place

Illustration for article titled First Ever MMA Fight Between Man And Woman Set To Take Place

Brazil is set to host the first ever mixed martial arts (MMA) fight between a man and a woman.


In what could either be history-making sports news or the greatest stunt since, well, basically everything Terrell Owens ever did ever, Shooto Brazil announced today that it will feature a three-round bantamweight fight between Emerson Falcao and Juliana Velasquez, a woman who is sure to be played by Michelle Rodriguez someday on film.

Now here's where things get interesting.

First off, Falcao, who is 0-1 so far this year, posted to his Facebook on Dec. 3 that he was injured, with several sources telling that he would not be able to fight until next year.

But Velasquez says that's not what Andre Pederneiras, president of Brazil Shooto, and the man who came up with the idea for the match up, told her:

"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."

And there may be an even bigger hiccup in the event. According to, a representative for the Brazilian Mixed Martial Arts Confederation, which regulates the Shooto Brazil events says HOLD UP WAIT WHAT? They may not even allow a male vs. female fight to happen.

"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," [Osiris Maia, representative for the Brazilian MMA Confederation said].


Maia said the organization had not yet received an official card from the promoters, which is expected on Thursday, at the weigh-ins for the event. He said the event was only annou[nced to the media and not vetted through official channels.

"[If] you ask me if we're allowing it to happen, I don't think so," said Maia. "I think it's a disparity. We'll see what's going on tomorrow at the weigh-ins."


OK, so to sum up—get the popcorn popped, pull up a chair and set the DVR to record whatever goes down at that weigh in on Thursday, yeah?

Image via Shutterstock


Ari Schwartz: Dark Lord of the Snark

I can't find weight/reach comparisons, but here's my take on this as someone who has trained for years in a striking art: ehhhh.

Also, shameless plug:…

Anyway, I suspect this may not happen in the first place, but if it does, you have a lot of issues with making this a "good" (even) fight.

Firstly, women at the same weight as men tend (I'm speaking in generalities, I know) to have less muscle mass per kilo than men. They tend to have advantages in flexibility, but striking-wise are going to have more trouble generating power at the same level (mass x acceleration) than a similarly weighted man. So, a bantamweight woman doesn't necessarily equal a bantamweight man in terms of key physical features.

However, that doesn't mean that skill is a limiter, though, and that's where a woman can beat a similarly weighted man. And this is where it gets tricky, since neither one of these fighters is a known quantity. We know almost nothing about either one in the ring/octagon, so it's hard to say how it'll play out.

If it happens, it'll be interesting to see how it goes, but I think mostly all we'll know is that a nobody beat a nobody, and we have one datum. Any way you hack it, people will make too big of a deal of the outcome, and we'll get tons of stupidity from the peanut gallery.