This Wednesday night at 8:30 ET, MMA Gospel Radio’s Gary Friedman and Spilled Bag of Ice will host a two-hour WMMA special. The evening will start with an interview with the Grudge Training Center’s own “Alpha” Cathilee Zingano (5-0), the fourth ranked WMMA fighter in the 125lbs. division on the USAT Consensus Rankings. Afterwards, MarQ of Fighter Girls and Women Talk Sports, WMMA fighter “Thundercat” Michelle Ould (4-3, 1NC), Chris Schenk of WMMA management company Schenk MMA, and Dan Griffin of MMA Gospel will square off in a structured debate on the long term viability of WMMA as a whole and its future in regards to the UFC. The debate concerning WMMA and its position with the UFC began with the MMA Gospel article Women’s MMA: The Dangers that Loom With Zuffa’s Acquisition of Strikeforce . When Dan Griffin discussed the article on MMA Gospel Radio MarQ called in with his rebuttal. The result was a back-and-forth debate on the show that afterward spilled onto Twitter and even resulted in a respondent article on Women Talk Sports: Women’s MMA-Deep Potential. WMMA and its future is a subject of much speculation and discussion in the MMA world and each of the many sides of the issue have their points, unfortunately these points are often lost when the participants result to heated argument and speaking over one another. This is why MMA Gospel Radio has decided to hold a round table debate. The discussion will be a structured discussion all about the facts in a one-at-a-time, rapid fire debate. The following questions are those that will be posed to the panel:
1. What is the overall skill level in WMMA and what, if any, is the limit of its potential?
2. Does any weight class in WMMA have the talent pool needed to support a UFC division? If not, what needs to happen for the talent pool to develop sufficiently? Explain your position.
3. Barring special circumstances such as experience in other combat sports (Pat Barry, James Toney, and the like), TUF winners, or unusual marketability (“Kimbo Slice” Kevin Ferguson, Brock Lesnar) What kind of experience and/or accomplishments are needed for a fighter to make a UFC bid?
4. On Womentalksports.com, the article mentioned Brock Lesnar as an example of a fighter allowed in the UFC purely due to marketability. Why does or doesn’t this circumstance apply to “Cyborg” Cristiane Santos or Gina Carano?
5. What are the biggest problems facing WMMA’s acceptance in the UFC?
6. In the WMMA article on MMA Gospel, it is stated that Strikeforce adopting the UFC business model is the biggest danger for WMMA. If Strikeforce adopts this model, why does or doesn’t WMMA currently fit this structure?
7. How can WMMA be better marketed and unified to make it bigger and more prominent in the MMA community?
8. Will casual MMA fans ever appreciate a female fighter as a legitimate athlete or will physical beauty always be a major factor in WMMA’s marketability?
9. Is there a large enough interest in WMMA, both in terms of financial backing and fan base, for WMMA to support itself separately from the MMA establishment? Who would be the most instrumental people in spearheading such a venture?
10. What are options for WMMA if the UFC doesn’t want anything to do with WMMA and what is the best solution to WMMA’s current situation?
With each question, each panelist will be given just 90 seconds to state their answer and explanation without interruption except by MMA Gospel host Gary Friedman if they are moving off topic. At the end, the panelist who went first will go again to defend his or her point against any rebuttals then Spilled Bag of Ice will give his thoughts on the points as a whole.
In each round, the panelist will speak in the same order with a different person going first each time, ensuring that everyone experiences the benefits of going first and having the final word.
There are no winners or losers in this debate. It is only to help provide our collective listeners and readers the most information possible from as many points of view as possible so that they can make their own decisions and support WMMA in the manner they feel is best. Together, we can discover the best way to ensure that WMMA has the best chance to succeed.
Click HERE to join in on the debate, Wednesday at 8:30pm ET!