EliteXCs failed attempt at making female MMA popular simply highlights the lack of interest in women fighting and sports overall. I’ve got nothing against "equality" in a realistic sense, but by and large female sports will not attract the same level of viewers that male sports do because women cannot perform at a level that makes it interesting to a mass audience.
I know someday the politically correct crowd will start screaming and pushing for a TV-title-IX and try to force women sports down our throats. But abstract notions of "equality" don’t produce long-term viewers, high ratings, or ad revenue.
Recently there were complaints about women wearing bikinis during Beach Volleyball competition at the Beijing Olympics. But the women athletes said they like wearing bikinis for mobility and comfort. Additionally the bikinis create sex appeal—a major reason why the sport is so popular.
My guess is grace and beauty equals ratings. If the women in a sport are firm and attractive (Gabrielle Reece) or strong and gorgeous (Venus and Serena Williams) ratings go up. If they are steroid looking she-men ratings go down.
Gina Carano is popular not just because she is a good fighter but because she is attractive. Many female athletes are not. And no one wants to watch women in sports who look like drag queens. Televising Female MMA fighters or boxers is just a failed gimmick: No one is going to pay attention unless they strip for the weigh-ins (and for some women even that’s not a guarantee ratings boost).
Would more people watch female MMA fighters if they wore bikinis? Yes. Would it be worth paying a ticket to see? No. I think it’s boring and a gimmick.