As society has progressed over many years, the equal rights that women are now entitled to is far different from what it once was.
In the sport of MMA, women have the same options as the men with every event having a mix of male and female fight events.
The sport is still predominantly male in fighters and fanbase, probably because men are just more naturally violent and interested. But that’s not to say that women don’t have a natural urge for watching and participating in the fight, too.
In this article I’m going to discuss MMA man vs woman and try to answer the question: Can a Woman Fight on Par with a Man in MMA?
Differences between a man and a woman fighter
The first thing to note is that men and women have different body types. Men are typically taller, heavier with more muscle mass than a woman of the same weight class.
Men are able to carry around more weight and muscle on their frame without it being an issue for them in terms of mobility because they’re so heavy-bodied compared from head down (neck) to a woman. The physiology changes between sexes.
Women also don’t produce as much testosterone which means less aggression but can make some great fighters if motivated enough by other factors like having trained to protect themselves in a difficult culture.
Some great female fighters show a high level of motivation because of factors like having trained themselves over time due their difficult culture conditions where females have had to develop a lot of resiliency and confidence to deter any threats.
But what if a woman went up against a man?
Could a woman beat a man in an MMA fight?
If a woman went up against man, she would have to be more than just strong. She’d need the same amount of power and speed as her male counterpart in order for it not being an unfair fight.
Usually it’s easier for the man because he has greater physiological advantages in body type over his female opponent who doesn’t produce testosterone like men do.
The testosterone that men produce doesn’t just give them a deep voice. It is a primary part of activating the greater muscle fibre growth and twitch responses. Essentially meaning that men get bigger stronger muscles easier and they’re also naturally faster.
All that said, a woman could absolutely beat a man in a mixed martial arts fight.
Fighting is more than just about physical ability. There is a high level of technique and skills to be learned across the various martial arts and it allows for advantages from skill alone.
For example, a proficient female grappler could take a man down to the ground and use wrapping control from Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu disabling a lot of their strength or striking gains they had.
Can women compete with males when they’re at equal weight?
Weight is always a factor in fight, whether between men or women. The extra weight someone has, the more power and force they can put through their punches and leg kicks whilst on the feet.
On the ground and in grappling, the more weight you have the more energy your opponent has to put out to move you and take advantage.
Techniques in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Judo or Aikido teach a lot about using the weight of the opponent against them or nullifying it entirely.
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu has a lot of tactics for moving around your opponents position and using your full body to wrap them up which, after a certain degree of endurance built up, makes your energy required much lower. You’re not trying to move your enemy, just move around where they go.
In Judo and Aikido, a lot of practice goes on using the weight of your opponent to throw them. It’s a bit like countering advances from them. When they shift their weigh too heavily in their upper body, they lose their base and with one flick across your hips (usually combined with a leg trip) their whole body can be thrown over to the floor where you then immediately have the upper hand.
The moral of the story is that weight does and does not have an influence and it can depend entirely on the level of skill of the fighter.
As a man, I’ve experienced being out-boxed and out-grappled by women in MMA training. They simply had a much better skill level than me and it’s humbling for any testosterone fuelled fellow.
How can a woman beat a man in a fight?
In a fight, a woman will need to be able use her skill in using a man’s weight against them using smarts and patience that some men can often lack.
Here’s some of the techniques a woman could use:
- Use your opponent’s momentum against them by throwing or tripping their legs out from under him when he tries for an advance on you.
- You can also practice getting good at “sprawling” whereby if the opponent tries to take you down through your hips/legs, you immediately extend your hips backwards as the attack comes in and allow the weight of the opponent to let them fall in front of themselves as you wrap around the neck and upper back of them.
- Don’t get stuck in a fist fight with most men, particularly if they are much heavier and taller. The weight transfer advantage men have from their wider shoulders allows them to output dangerous knockout power with their punches, so don’t get caught by this.
- Whilst men are usually top heavy, women are typically bottom-heavy. Your legs are probably your greatest tool, so use lots of powerful leg kicks to deter your opponent. Then when on the ground, wrap them up with your strong legs and tire them out.
To sum up, women can beat men in MMA if they take the right approach. Like with any MMA fight it is always smartest to look for your opponents weaknesses, patterns and use this against them.
A female fighter can take advantage of this further if a man decides to underestimate them.
I hope some of these tips have helped any female fighters who want better self defense against men as well.