The rumors that have been swirling about a Man vs. Woman fight at Shooto Brazil were recently squashed. However, there are three huge reasons why the idea shouldn’t have even crossed anyone’s mind, much less become a reality.
1.) The Physical Difference
For any true sporting event to occur, participants need to be able to compete on a level playing field. When it comes to men and women, the physical differences are just too great to allow this to happen.
According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), the average height and weight of a woman over 20 years old is 63.8 inches and 166.2 pounds. The average height and weight of a man over 20 is 69.3 inches and 195.5 pounds. Clearly there is a big difference in how the average man and woman is physically built.
Now, one might argue, why not just put two equally sized fighters in and let them go at it. Unfortunately, that’s an oversimplification. Men and women are put together differently, plain and simple. Each gender carries its own physiological strengths and weaknesses, and trying to find a balanced playing field between them is next to impossible.
2.) Nobody Wins
Think about it, if the man wins the fight, he’d likely be showered with criticism. At best, his win would always have an asterisk next to it in many fans’ minds. If he were to lose, he’d be shamed by more than a few in the MMA community, which despite some progress in the past year, still holds a very traditionally macho-centric bias.
If the woman were to win, her victory would be tarnished by doubts that the man had taken it easy on her. In addition, as many female fighters have pointed out, it runs the risk of turning the women’s divisions into circus acts, just as they’re beginning to gain some traction in the MMA world.
While it doesn’t seem fair, a man vs woman fight is a lose-lose for both competitors.
3.) It’s Not Accepted In Any Contact Sport
Lastly, the same reason that we will never see a co-ed football league is the same reason that we should never see a man vs. woman MMA fight. If we must make a male dominant sport co-ed, why not start with a sport that is less physical in nature, such as tennis or soccer.
We are already seeing this initiative today, with athletes such as Danica Patrick in NASCAR, where her 5’2”, 100 pound stature does not come into play the way it would on a football field or in a boxing ring.
It should also be noted that Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks, made headlines earlier this year when he said he would consider drafting Brittney Griner to the Dallas Mavericks. She is 6’8” and can dunk with ease.
Cuban told ESPN that he would draft her in the second round.
“If she is the best on the board, I will take her,” Cuban said. “I’ve thought about it. I’ve thought about it already. Would I do it? Right now, I’d lean toward yes, just to see if she can do it. You never know unless you give somebody a chance, and it’s not like the likelihood of any late-50s draft pick has a good chance of making it.”