If you've heard anything about Fierce, you know that Tori was a female fighter, and started this journey when women in MMA was new. It's still new, but growing. In Fierce, Tori is still faced with some gender issues even though women are getting steady footholds in the fighting world, because, well, women still deal with these things. While female fighting organizations are becoming big and female fights tend to be some of the biggest money-makers for quite a few organizations, it's still a relatively male-dominated area.
I'll be the first to say that Tori can be a little abrasive and explosive, and sometimes her decisions don't match what we want/the 'normal'. A reader made the comment that this fits, though, and her characterization matches the world she grew up in. Being in a mostly male field, especially one as intense as physical combat, impacts a person. It impacts males, it impacts females. Tori, I hope, shows that. You can read more about Fierce here.
So, here's a little background. Sometimes, I think, we forget how new women being accepted (for the most part) in this sport is, because it got so big so fast. It reminds me of New Adult fiction--it was barely there, not really known, and then bam. NA Alley became an info hub, new adult pioneers wrote books that people wanted to read, and in a matter of months, really, NA wasn't just a possibility, it was THERE. It's easy, sometimes, to forget to that it is still new. That it is still growing, and new and diverse NA is still emerging.
Female fighting is the same way.
The UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) is the largest MMA organization. The first UFC fight was in 1992. 1992.
In 2001, the Fertittas bought the UFC, with their business partner Dana White.
The Ultimate Fighter ( a reality TV show that led to a UFC contract for the winner) aired in the early 2000s. UFC pay-per-view exploded in the early 2000s as well.
2011. Dana White says women will NEVER be in the UFC. That's right. He says we will never seen women in the UFC.
You can watch the video here, if you'd like.
My own snarky comment: Funny, how that changes when it's realized women fighters bring in money too, huh?
Back to the facts:
2012. UFC announces Rhonda Rousey, a female fighter from Strikeforce, will fight on their card.
Yup, twenty years after the UFC is created, a women fights in the UFC.
2013. UFC signs 11 female fighters, all in the same weight category. UFC added a second female weight class in 2014.
So, as you can see, female fighting being accepted is still new. It is still growing and evolving.
I can make another NA comparison with this one: NA started primarily in one category. It's evolving out of it just that one.
Strikeforce was another MMA organization that existed from 1985 to 2013. Strikeforce hosted female fights starting in 2009 (I believe).
Invicta is an All Pro Women’s Mixed Martial Arts fight series founded in 2012. It is committed to women in MMA and growing that area. Invicta has really helped women's MMA explode into the limelight. A beautiful thing of Invincta? Multiple weight divisions. Why is this so important? Think about having women ranging from 5'2 to 6'2 have to fight each other/cut weight to get to the same # of pounds. Think about a 6'2 woman having to fight at 115) You can check out more on Invincta.
So, there you have it. Women's MMA is here, and growing, and still relatively recently accepted. The acceptance isn't everywhere, obviously, and you can find plenty of female fighting hate if you talk to enough people or even just google female fighting. Tori deals with some of these things in Fierce. But, the women in this are nothing but strong, mentally and physically, and I know that women's MMA isn't going away.