For a lot of the carnival aspects that combat sports provides, the intentions are fairly clear. Put Bob Sapp and Akebono in the ring together and the results may be a tragicomic disaster, but it also feeds the curiosity of what will happen when two incredibly large men come to blows. A promotion like Fight Circus may be taking that idea to its logical extreme, with bouts like a 3 vs. 1 featuring a super heavyweight Muay Thai champ, taking on a featherweight MMA fighter with the help of two random dudes with no training at all, but the root curiosity behind the experiment remains.
This isn’t that.
A MMA promotion from Poland, dubbed MMA-VIP held their third event recently, featuring a mixture of seemingly amateur MMA bouts (3x3 minute rounds, although Tapology lists much of the card as pro fights) and a boxing match. But buried among the more normal low level combat sports offerings were two inter-gender MMA exhibitions. In one, arm wrestler and fitness instructor Ula Siekacz took on Piotr ‘Mua Boy’ Lisowski, suffering a second round TKO in a bout that had more the look of a play ground fight than any kind of sporting contest.
Siekacz seemed upbeat speaking to media after the event and posting on social media where it seems she declared the fight a one-off, saying that she’s “not gonna get slapped by a guy anymore,” but is on the lookout for other suggestions in the combat sports world.
Another bout, between Michal “Polish Ken” Przybylowicz and Wiktoria Domzalska also took place at the event. With Przybylowicz delivering a TKO just 40 seconds into the first round.
For their part, the IMMAF (which wasn’t involved in the sanctioning of these bouts, but oversees amateur MMA events in much of Europe), released a statement to the Mirror on the event calling it “unacceptable.”
“Media coverage has brought our attention to an inter-sex MMA bout that took place in Poland over the weekend,” a spokesperson for the organization told the outlet.
“Although neither the promoter nor competitors have any association with IMMAF, as the international governing body for amateur mixed martial arts, I feel it is important that I state our position.
“IMMAF categorically disagrees with this intentionally scandalous, form of entertainment, which does not represent the sport of MMA or its values and puts women at risk.
“It is unacceptable that women and men should compete against each other in combat sports, essentially for reasons of safety but also fair play, and we in no way endorse this.”
I can’t muster up much ire for the actual competitors in these fights, even though I also can’t imagine any possible upside to wanting to be a part of this for the men involved. If these women want to test their fighting ability this way, then it is what it is—they can be free to give it a go. But actively promoting it is just gross and negligent.
As I said above, even in carnival grade fight action, there are questions being asked. They may be dumb, slightly ironic questions with no real intrinsic value, but they’re still questions. There are no questions about what’s going to happen in booking these fights. It’s pure money grubbing to draw off shock value, and nothing more.