Brazilian MMA organization Shooto Brazil might make MMA history later this week, as they announced on Tuesday their intention to host the first-ever man vs. woman MMA fight since the sport adopted the Unified Rules on Friday.
Two relatively inexperienced bantamweight fighters, Emerson Falcao and Juliana Velasquezwill face off at Rio de Janeiro’s Shooto 45 in a three-round fight. This will be Falcao’s second professional fight since his MMA debut, a first-round loss to Benny Blackat. It will be Velasquez’s first professional MMA fight.
Many are still questioning whether or not the bout will actually take place, because while Shooto President Andre Pederneiras hasn’t outlined any specifics regarding special rules.
“We guarantee that everything will be done within the law and safely,” he stated on Brazilian site Combate.com.
Velasquez, who stand a mere inch shorter than her male opponent, confidently told MMAFighting.com:
“My team believes I’m ready, so I accepted the challenge. My expectations are the best. I’m well trained to get there and win. I’m used to training with man [sic] every day. I’m a professional judoka and I know the adrenaline of the competition, I know how to handle this.”
Falcao, however, has yet to show any signs that he’s ready for the fight – in fact, he posted to Facebook on Dec. 3 that is injured, and sources have said he’ll be unable to fight again until next year. Pederneiras, however, is saying that Falcao will be ready for Friday’s match.
Word is also still out over whether the fight will be officially sanctioned.
“There’s nothing in the rules that specific [sic] prohibits a man to fight a woman, but when you interpret the rules you know that both athletes must be in the same level, so there’s no way a man should be allowed to fight a woman,” Osiris Maia, a member of the Brazilian Mixed Martial Arts Confederation, explained MMAFighting.com. “If you ask me if we’re allowing it to happen, I don’t think so. I think it’s a disparity. We’ll see what’s going on tomorrow at the weigh-ins.”
Do you think the fight will take place on Friday? And do you even think it should be allowed to take place?