Is America Ready For Female MMA?

Ryan WalesSenior Analyst IMay 5, 2008

Ready or not, here it comes. Thanks to Elite XC, on May 31st, Gina Carano will face off with Kaitlin Young in a televised bout.

Yes, Gina Carano is on American Gladiators under the name "Crush". Before American Gladiators, Carano was a Muay Thai fighter, and a good one as well.

She now trains with Xtreme Couture in Las Vegas. If there ever was a good canidate for female MMA spokeswoman, Carano would be it. Intelligent, articulate, down to earth, and not too hard on the eyes. Okay, so she is super hot, we all know it.

Carano's opponent will be Minnesota native Kaitlin Young. Young also has an extensive background in Muay Thai.

She is currently training with Greg Nelson at the Minnesota Martial Arts Academy. Nelson's camp has turned out a slew of great MMA fighters.

The stylistic matchup between these two is simple. My Muay Thai is better than yours. If this fight goes to the ground, it's because someone got hurt bad and hit the floor. So it's going to be a stand-up war with these two. Both fighters like to come forward and bang.

I don't know how the folks at home are going to react to these two woman kicking the crap out of each other. This fight has a high potential for cuts, blood, and overall unpleasantness. While the match will do wonders for the sport among current MMA fans, I don't know if it will win over the general population. 

I remember the first female MMA fight I saw. It was at a local EFX show in Minnesota. I was talking to the promoter before the show started, and he told me whatever happens, don't miss the girl fight. He's a promoter, he has to say that, right? 

The ref for the evening was local fighter Brock Larson. During the intermission before the female fight, we were talking and he told me the same thing, don't miss the next fight.

As I sat in my seat for the next eleven minutes, I was amazed. These two women came out and gave one of the best performances I have ever seen. They stood toe-to-toe the whole fight. One minute into the third round, a vicious right hand was landed, and it was all over. Both women left the cage bloody, bruised, and smiling. They lived the dream, fighting in front of their home crowd, the place going nuts as they slugged it out.

The moral of the story is, if it's a great fight, it doesn't matter who's in the cage. 

As the Elite XC card gets closer, I wonder how the casual fan, and even someone who doesn't follow the sport, will perceive the bout between Carano and Young. I hope it is a huge success and brings much deserved attention to female MMA. Until then, we have to wait and see.