America was hardly ready to accept the sport of women's mixed martial arts when Gina Carano gave Kaitlin Young a beat-down on national television in May of 2008.
CBS never aired the footage of Young's swollen left eye that was the result of Carano's punishing blows.
While "Crush" did not take America by storm with her fists, she gained plenty of exposure that night for her stunning appearance.
Since losing to Cyborg Santos on Aug. 15, 2009, Carano has not returned to the cage or expressed any real desire to fight again.
She has remained in the media spotlight by posing for Maxim and ESPN The Magazine.
The future of women's mixed martial arts perhaps depends on a fighter's marketability.
Here is a look at the 10 hottest women in the sport today.
In 13 professional matches, Miesha Tate has 11 wins, including three by knockout.
After Kaitlin Young defeated her by a devastating head kick in 2007, Tate bounced back and rattled off five straight wins.
Fight fans are hopeful that Gina Carano will return to the ring by the end of 2011.
Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker has been vocal in his attempt to bring the star back to the cage.
While she will not be entering the octagon anytime soon, Celeste's name has been synonymous with the sport of mixed martial arts.
She is best known for her work as a ring girl with the UFC promotion.
Akano sports a stellar 16-8 professional record inside the cage.
Her nickname is the "Girlfight Monster" and she is currently the No. 8 ranked fighter in the Bantamweight division.
Cyborg Santos is the best pound-for-pound fighter in women's mixed martial arts.
Her 10-1 record includes a knockout win over Gina Carano.
In the world of combat sports, not many women have the knockout power possessed by Mia St. John.
Her 22 wins include 12 knockouts and 1 draw and she posed for the cover of Playboy in 1999.
Natalie Skyy is a model, ring girl and actress.
She began her ring girl career in 2007 for Fight Night at the Tank, which then lead to other opportunities within the MMA industry.
Rebecca Cobaugh is one of the hottest ring girls in mixed martial arts.
She works for the IFL promotion.
5'6" featherweight Ina Menzer was a world champion boxer in the WIBF, WBC and WBO.
Brittany Palmer was a ring girl for the WEC promotion before they merged with the UFC.
She is a talented painter and was featured in Las Vegas Magazine and numerous print ads.