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Toughest Women In MMA

By Rod Bourgoine

While martial arts typically has been male dominated, there are many women competing professionally today that put the same effort and dedication into the sport as the guys. There are still purists who believe the sport is solely for men, but since Gina Carano’s bout against Elaina Maxwell in 2006, women have continued to compete and are here to stay.

One of the most important organizations for women’s MMA has been Strikeforce. A Strikeforce fight between Gina Carano and Cristiane Santos drew more than 850,000 views in 2009. For those who believe that women can’t bring the audience, these numbers certainly suggest otherwise.

Gina Carano is arguably one of the sport’s top fighters and boasts a 7-1 record with her only loss being during the Santos fight in 2009. She also fought professionally as a kickboxer, earning a 12-1-1 record. Carano is known as “the face of women’s MMA,” although she has not entered the arena since her loss against Santos.

Cristiane Santos is a terrifying presence in women’s MMA with a record of 10 wins, one loss and one no contest. Born in Brazil, Santos trained at the Chute Boxe Academy before coming to the states and joining the team at The Arena in San Diego. Her last fight was in 2011 against Hiroko Yamananka. The fight was originally a TKO, but was changed to no contest after Santos failed a drug test and was suspended from competition. While she did appeal the conviction, she will not be eligible to fight until December, 2012.

Another top woman competitor is undoubtedly Ronda Rousey, although she still will need to have a few more fights under her belt before being considered as one of the greats. So far, she holds an undefeated record with five pro wins. She won the bantamweight title after defeating Miesha Tate. In addition to her MMA career she also competed in Judo at the 2004 and 2008 Olympic games, earning a bronze medal in Beijing.

While Miesha Tate might have lost her title to Rousey, she still boasts a strong 12-3 pro record and is consistently on top ten lists when considering women fighters. A former champion high school wrestler, she also has an impressive MMA amateur career, winning five of her six bouts before turning pro.

No list would be complete without mentioning Tara LaRosa. Her professional record includes 21 wins and just two losses. She is considered by many as the best female MMA fighter; however, because of her smaller size, she has yet to fight in organizations such as Strikeforce, which don’t have the smaller weight classes.

Rod Bourgoine likes talking about mixed martial arts benefits. To get more details about an MMA gym in San Diego or to find boxing classes in San Diego, please visit The Arena MMA website now.

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Article Citation
MLA Style Citation:
Bourgoine, Rod "Toughest Women In MMA." Toughest Women In MMA. 18 Oct. 2012. 19 Aug 2014 <>.

APA Style Citation:
Bourgoine, R (2012, October 18). Toughest Women In MMA. Retrieved August 19, 2014, from

Chicago Style Citation:
Bourgoine, Rod "Toughest Women In MMA"

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