I once heard some feminist give a quote that was quite relevant to the female divisions in MMA:
When put in the context of MMA, we’re left to ponder if women can afford to be boring. Do female fighters have to be more exciting than the men in order to get noticed?
I’d have to say yes. Strikeforce only has one female fight every other card most times, which simply isn’t enough to get a feel for whether women or exciting or not.
When tuning into a UFC ppv people see 5-10 fights. Not all of them are exciting. There are some unfortunate events where entire cards are snoozefests. Of course no UFC fan watches a bad card and proclaims all of MMA to be boring. They just got unlucky with a bad night of fights.
Most UFC fans haven’t even seen 5-10 women’s fights. To see the same amount of fights on one UFC card a fan would’ve had to watch a year of Strikeforce. Here’s been their last 10 women’s fights
December 17, 2011 Strikeforce: Melendez vs. Masvidal — Cyborg vs. Yamanaka. It lasted 0:16.
Strikeforce Challengers 20 — Rousey vs. Budd. It lasted a fun 0:39.
Strikeforce: Barnett vs. Kharitonov — Davis vs. Nunes. A scrappy but average fight.
Strikeforce Challengers 18 — Rousey vs. D’Alelio
Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Henderson — Coenen vs. Tate. A boring fight with a fun finish. Also Davis vs. Kedzie
Strikeforce Challengers 17 — Carmouche vs. Kaufman
Strikeforce Challengers 16 — Randamie vs Budd
Strikeforce: Feijao vs. Henderson — Coenen vs. Carmouche
January 29, 2011 Strikeforce: Diaz vs. Cyborg — Randamie vs. Webber
As you can see, most fans only get to see 10 womens fights in almost a year, whereas they’ll see 10 fights on a single card in the UFC.
If an entire 10 fight UFC card is boring, you’re disappointed but there’s another one on in a week or two. Pretty soon you’ll see some good fights. But in women’s MMA, you could conceivable go an entire year without seeing an exciting women’s fight. No wonder so many people have the vague impression of women’s MMA not being as exciting.
With such a small amount of exposure it’s vital that women put on exciting and memorable fights. As it stands, each fight is going to have a lasting impression on fans, and so until women are put in the UFC and have a couple fights every show, people aren’t going to go out of their way to watch female fights if the last one they saw was boring.