Mixed martial arts: “Where cleavage is a hinderance.”
Elite female UFC fighters are serious, serious athletes. As such, they think about any and all possible advantages they can gain over their adversaries. According to Ronda Rousey, one of those advantages is having smaller breasts.
The topic of breasts and their impact on MMA was discussed in ESPN The Magazine's latest "Body Issue," which, among others, featured a photo spread of UFC fighter Miesha Tate. The issue featured an article by Amanda Hess titled, "You Can Only Hope to Contain Them," which focused on female fighters dealing with boob issues while fighting in the Octagon.
The piece features an interview with UFC women's bantamweight champ Ronda Rousey. As usual, Rousey was brutally honest, and her candidness did not fail to provide for highly quotable material.
Rousey told Hess that she’s had difficulties keeping her breasts under wraps while grappling with opponents in the past. One particular fight against Liz Carmouche was especially troublesome, and she worried constantly about having a wardrobe malfunction.
She also gave her observations on women who reach the pinnacle of athletics, saying that large breasts aren’t often a characteristic of elite female athletes.
"Gina Carano was an amazing fighter, and she had a fantastic rack," Rousey told Hess. "You don’t see big titties in the Olympics, and I think that’s for a reason."
Hess' article explains the difficulties fighters with larger breasts have versus those with less on their chest. For example, Hess cites that a fighter with a typical A-cup is carrying .43 pounds, while fighters with D-cups are carrying around four or more pounds of weight.
Between the weight, strain and possible wardrobe malfunction issues, it's hard to say Rousey isn't right.
With that being said, Gina Carano went 12-1-1 in her Muay Thai fighting career and 7-1 in MMA. So you can have an innate advantage at a sport, but your physical traits don’t necessarily dictate your level of success.