2013 was a monumental time for women’s mixed martial arts. After years of being told that they “just weren’t good enough” and that there “wasn’t enough girls to form a legitimate division”, women finally graced the UFC’s famed Octagon and blew everyone away in the process.
At the forefront, we had women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey. Rousey’s dramatic blend of an Olympic level judo background, an “easy on the eyes” physique and an appetite for snapping arms enthralled UFC president Dana White.
But it didn’t stop with Rousey.
White witnessed a surge of elite female talent such as Cat Zingano, Alexis Davis and Liz Carmouche break the UFC’s walls down and captivate his audience in ways that completely exceeded his own expectations.
The UFC shouldn’t get all the praise, however, as the hard-hitting ladies of Shannon Knapp’s Invicta Fighting Championship once again proved in 2013 that women come to fight, sometimes more so than their male counterparts.
Knapp and co. opened the year in January crowning Carla Esparza as the inaugural strawweight champion and finished in December with an all-out war between Barb Honchak and Leslie Smith that had fans on the edge of their seats the entire time.
I’d like to recognize those who truly stood out and made this such a great year. Here are the 2013 Women’s MMA awards.