With the news that Ronda Rousey and Miesha Tate will grace the Octagon with their less-than-burly presence, I began to think of the best way to introduce female combatants to the UFC crowd (you know, in case they weren't already watching women kick each other in the face). A few ideas cropped up—most of them not suitable for publication, others not suitable for thought in general. But I landed on one I think has a lot of potential.
An all female The Ultimate Fighter.
I know a lot of you have probably had the same thought and either wrote it off as a cheap gimmick or just a plan ol' crap idea, but hear me out.
TUF has been in the dumps the past few seasons, scoring dismal ratings and generally underwhelming fight fans. The concept of the show is still great: get a bunch of hungry fighters together to compete for a lucrative contract. By all accounts, that should be the most explosive night of television any fight fan can hope to see.
Sadly, we haven't been treated to that.
Instead we are shown a group of fighters who are competing for their livelihood, throwing each other's mattresses into pools and turning in lackluster performances week after week. We do come across the occasional great fight but more often than not I find myself slipping in and out of consciousness as I watch two highly trained martial artists timidly dance around one another. Le sigh.
This formula needs a change, and the UFC bringing in the ladies of MMA is just the way to refuel the tanks.
Could an all female TUF revitalize the show?
First off, having Ronda Rousey coach is a no-brainer, can't-mess-that-up first step. She's the most popular female fighter, out-shined only by The Fabulous Moolah and Tifa from Final Fantasy 7. Throw Miesha Tate in the Blue Corner and you not only have a rematch for the title, but two established female combatants leading your first all woman TUF. That all sounds pretty good to me.
We can't forget that Rousey is, shall we say, outspoken. She is unafraid to make any comment she feels is right for that moment. It's refreshing and could make for very unpredictable TV. If we all thought having Chael Sonnen on TV would be interesting, just imagine that, but with a bra.
It is easy to dismiss this and claim that we would fall into the same petty TV we are subjected to now and you would probably be right. You can't change the way TV is produced. It all ends up the same. But while we may get the same clichéd arguments and catty discussions, in the end, these women get to settle those arguments in the most violent way possible, allowed by the state of Nevada.
We can't forget the most important aspect of this proposal. This is a big step up for women's mixed martial arts. These women would be the first crop of female fighters to fight in the Octagon. That's pretty big. Does anyone think they would take this opportunity for granted? I certainly don't.
This would also bring to light some very good female fighters who you probably haven't heard of before (Munah Holland anyone?), not to mention inspire a lot more women to get into the sport. There is so much untapped potential out there. This show could awaken some latent desire in some women athletes to kick in faces. I am 100 percent behind that.
I expect that these fighters would put it all on the line for a chance at the big time. At the very least, we would get one solid season of crazy-ass lady fighters kicking each other's teeth in for a chance at the UFC.
Equal opportunity is a beautiful thing.