clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Fedor Emelianenko believes women shouldn't compete in MMA, calling it 'a man's sport'

What is MMA legend Fedor Emelianenko's take on women fighters in MMA? That they shouldn't be in the sport at all.

When Fedor Emelianenko dominated the MMA heavyweight scene en route to becoming one of the sport's greatest ever fighters, women's MMA was under-the-radar and largely ignored. Now, the UFC's current biggest star is arguably women's bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey, while this weekend's UFC 185 co-main event is a women's strawweight championship bout. Women's MMA has come a long way in terms of visibility and popularity, but don't count Fedor as one of its supporters.

The retired Emelianenko was interviewed by WHOA TV on a variety of topics, including Ronda Rousey's UFC 184 win over Cat Zingano. Speaking through an interpreter, Fedor acknowledged that he watched Rousey but otherwise isn't a fan of WMMA. (Video can be viewed at the top of the page. Quotes via MMA Junkie)

"He saw her fight. She has really interesting fights. Maybe a little bit of improvement to striking, but he doesn’t support women’s MMA."

Fedor expanded further on the topic and outright stated that MMA is a man's sport and that women should be in sports where "they look like women."

"Women shouldn’t compete in UFC/MMA because this sport is for men," Emelianenko said through his interpreter. "There are a lot of sports where women look like women – like gymnastics, water sports, maybe some athletics.

"He’s telling that women shouldn’t fight. MMA is for men. It’s a man sport."

This isn't the first time that Fedor has expressed his disapproval of women in mixed martial arts. In a June 2014 interview with Russian TV he believed that "a woman must be a domestic goddess, raise her children and be feminine. There are a lot of different sports which help her in that, but MMA is not one of them."