Recently the UFC announced the signing of undefeated Japanese WMMA fighter and Pancrese champion Rin Nakai. As a fan of MMA I’ve been hoping for an influx of new talent into the UFC’s women’s weight classes so I was excited to learn a fighter of Nakai’s caliber was on her way to the biggest promotion in the world. Nakai is a physically gifted grappler with a strong wrestling base and brute power. Despite having a considerable strength disadvantage former Strikeforce champion Miesha Tate is an interesting challenge for Nakai because of her slick grappling and polished wrestling. It’ll also be interesting to see how Nakai fares against real competition. Japanese promotions are notorious for feeding popular fighters cans to pad their records.
Because of her popularity in Japan (a market the UFC has been trying to court for a few years) and how thin the women’s divisions are she could only be a couple wins away from a shot at the title. In my opinion this would be great for the UFC, they need stars outside of Tate and Rousey, and Rousey needs new challengers.
Unfortunately for us, Nakai’s choice to moonlight as a fetish model in her home country of Japan has forced a lot of media and hard-core fans to ask the question, "is she good for WMMA?". In short, the answer is "yes", any talented fighter that can compete at the highest level is good for WMMA. The problem with that question is the inherent sexism often found in some peoples answers. They often hide their sexism under the guise of concern for a woman’s respect (if you wear that short skirt people will stop respecting you), in this case they’re hiding it under "concern" for the sport they love. Some fans are concerned that the sport will go the way of foxy boxing or women’s pro wrestling if an attractive woman is attractive outside of the cage. People that believe those things completely overlook the fact that being attractive or pretty doesn’t negate Nakai’s talent. You can model AND fight. After all, no one questioned the validity of UFC Light Heavyweight Champ Jon Jones after he posed naked in ESPN magazine. I don’t remember seeing any think pieces on whether or not Jones was good for MMA after that.
A lot of people speculate that Nakai doesn’t actually enjoy the modeling she does, and only does it because 1) WMMA fighters don’t make much money or 2) because she was coerced into doing it by the people that run the Pancrese Fight promotion. To be honest, I’m not sure either of those are true. None of us are. We should probably ask Nakai.
Women that choose to use their bodies to make money aren’t all victims, they’re mostly women that make an educated decision to capitalize on a market that’s ever expanding and always profitable. They’re women in complete control of their situations and bodies. What’s odd to me is a lot of MMA fans seem to be perfectly comfortable watching women fighters use their bodies to try to and harm each other in the cage or ring, but are completely uncomfortable if those same women use their bodies outside of the cage to do something else they love. What Nakai decides to do outside of the cage with her body isn’t really ourbusiness, and if the sport we love can survive Chael Sonnen I’m sure it can survive a half naked woman.
Please check out www.VixenVarsity.com, we're doing some cool stuff! thanks for taking time to read this. Been awhile since I posted anything here.