The previously announced man vs. woman bout to go down Dec. 20 at Shooto Brazil 45 will not happen after all.
We can chalk this one up as a victory for logic and common sense.
According to MMA Fighting, the fight was never expected to happen, and it was instead a clever (or not) attempt to promote Brazil's "Lei Maria da Penha," a law to protect women from violence.
The two combatants, Nova Uniao's Emerson Falcao and Team Nogueira's Juliana Velasquez, certainly did their part to play up the actuality of the bout.
The two reportedly weighed in Thursday as planned, and even faced off to further promote the false fight.
Speaking after the weigh-ins, Falcao said:
I was hired to fight, and I’m going there to fight. My job is to train and fight. This is the first of the many man vs. woman fights that will come in the future. You’ll see. This is going to be huge. We’re here to shock the world.
Velasquez echoed her supposed opponent's sentiment.
"We’re going to fight," Velasquez said. "We’re professionals, and we’ll fight tomorrow."
Despite this, Brazilian Mixed Martial Arts Confederation (CBMMA) member Osiris Maia, who oversaw the weigh-ins on Thursday, told MMA Fighting that the fight isn't real.
We can’t do something like that. (The promoter) can ask everything, even a MMA fight with three guys against one, but we obviously won’t allow it. ... There’s no way a man should fight a woman. This is being done only to show the society the importance of 'Lei Maria da Penha.' You can’t have a man beating a woman in a sport, so it shouldn’t happen anywhere. That’s what they want to show."
The intentions of promoter and Shooto Brazil president Andre Pederneiras may have been to support a worthy cause, but many will undoubtedly take exception with the method of delivery.
Thankfully, this far-fetched bout will not happen, and the mixed martial arts world has, for now, avoided a major smear on the growth and legitimacy of the sport.
What do you think of this decision? Is it okay to play up a fight to bring attention to a real issue, or should Shoot Brazil have acted more transparently throughout the process?