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MMA Fan Reaction: Women’s Sports Foundation Responds to AIBA About Olympic Women Boxing in Skirts

posted by Cheryl Ragsdale, a Women Talk Sports blogger
Wednesday, November 2, 2011 at 6:08pm EDT

About Cheryl Ragsdale:

Cheryl Ragsdale practices martial arts for fun and physical fitness at Florian Martial Arts Center. She was recently promoted to Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Blue Belt by Keith Florian and Kenny Florian, UFC F...more

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Cris Cyborg Santos wearing Muay Thai gladiator skirt for MMA fight

Photo credit: Cris Cyborg Santos wearing gladiator skirt for MMA fight with Yoko Takahashi at Elite XC October 2008. Unanimous decision after 3 rounds for Cyborg.

Women who participate in MMA and other combat sports have a hard time getting people to understand why we love sport fighting. Now, female boxers, who will be participating in the Olympics for the first time in 2012, are being asked to wear skirts instead of shorts when they're competing in the ring.

The Women's Sports Foundation (WSF), founded in 1974 by tennis legend, Billie Jean King, is dedicated to advancing the lives of girls and women through sports. They promote sports to young girls, ages 8 to 13, through their GoGirlGo! programs. In addition, they provide financial support to female athletes (including athletes heading to the Olympics) in the form of travel and training allowances.

Recently, they held their 32nd Annual Salute to Women in Sports Awards Gala hosted by ESPN's Bonnie Bernstein. The event was attended by many notable female athletes, among them WSF President, retired professional boxer, Laila Ali.

WSF posted a response and a request to the Amateur International Boxing Association (AIBA) on their website.

"Apparently, the AIBA is trying to highlight the differences between male and female athletes." WSF said in response to Dr. Ching-Kuo Wu, President of the AIBA saying, "I have heard many times, people say, 'We can't tell the difference between the men and the women,' especially on TV, since they're in the same uniforms and are wearing headgear,'. After we hear about it's comfort and how easy it is to compete in the uniform, it may be compulsory. But we are still working on it."

One person's skirt is another person's wardrobe malfunction. For more on the story and to see what happened to Melvin "No Mercy" Manhoef's gladiator skirt during his MMA match with Tatsuya Mizuno at Dream 15 (July 2010), click the title below:

MMA Fan Reaction: Women’s Sports Foundation Responds to AIBA About Olympic Women Boxing in Skirts

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