First man-versus-woman fight coming to mixed martial arts
The world of mixed martial arts is hoping to go out with a bang. Shooto Brazil, an MMA organization, has arranged the first-ever man versus woman fight. According to MMA Fighting, Emerson Falcao will take on Juliana Velasquez on Friday (December 20) in Rio de Janeiro during Shooto 45.
"[Shooto president] Andre Pederneiras came up with the idea," Velasquez, who is experienced in judo, told MMA Fighting. "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 every day,” she continued. “I’m a professional judoka and I know the adrenaline of the competition, I know how to handle this."
Velasquez will be making her MMA debut. Falcao, however, has been competing since April. The bantamweight lost to Benny Blackat in the first round at Upper Sport Combat 2.
If the scheduled fight goes through, the mixed-gender competition will be added to a year of MMA firsts. In March 2013, Fallon Fox, the first openly transgender MMA fighter came out publicly during an interview with Outsports. Despite controversy about whether Fox had unfair physical advantage, she competed and lost to Ashlee Evans-Smith in a Championship Fighting Alliance featherweight title fight in October.