I remember when I saw my first MMA fight. Actually, that's a lie, I don't. But what I do remember was that I was immediately hooked. I started ordering Ufc ppv's and taking Muay Thai classes. Soon I started watching The Ultimate Fighter, which taught me that there were organizations other then the Ufc. WEC, Dream, Strikeforce, Shark Fights, Bellator, they all fascinated me. It was through these "minor leagues", I found WMMA. That was the start of something awesome.
I'm female (as you may have guessed through my username, among other things) and I remember being astonished by Gina Carano. I had seen a few of her fights, and as soon as I heard she was being matched up with some chick named "Cyborg", I thought I knew what was going to happen. Needless to say, I was in for a big surprise.
After seeing her smash Gina, I instantly became a Cyborg fan. "How could this strange woman beat everyone so effortlessly?" I would think to myself. What she lacked in technique, she made up for with impressive aggression and serious power. I watched her destroy Coenan and her legendary jiu-jitsu, I watched her effortlessly beatdown Jan Finney. And in her last fight, I saw her knock out Hiroko Yamanka in just sixteen seconds. And that's where the trouble starts.
While on MMAjunkie.com, I saw an astonishing (at least to me) headline: "CSAC: Strikeforce champ Cris Santos tests positive for anabolic steroid". No, I Thought, this couldn't be. Of course, like everybody, when I first saw the champ I had my suspicions. But she tested clean after every fight, so perhaps my favorite fighter was just a freak of nature.
A day later she essentially confirmed it. Yes, she had used steroids to help her cut weight. Yes, she was sorry and would serve her suspension. But the damage was done. Surely this would mean the end of the 145 division. And that's probably true. But what it doesn't mean, (as many of you have been saying) is the end of WMMA.
Think of all the new (and bankable) stars that have popped up since Carano and Santos fought. Miesha Tate, LIz Carmouche, Marloes Coenan, and, of course, Ronda Rousey. Yes, this might be the end of one star (and her division) but there is a new one waiting in the wings. 125. Tara LaRossa, Zoila Gurgel, Rosi Sexton (who recently wrote an excellent guest post), Sally Krumdiack, Jessica Eye, Holly Holm, Cat Zingano and the list goes on and on. All of these are great fighters that Zuffa can easily bring over and create an exciting stacked division with great talent and marketable stars. So really, Dana White, it's up to you. Pretty please?