The Effects of Gender and Social Roles on the Marketing of Combat Sport

T. Christopher Greenwell
Meg Hancock
Jason M. Simmons
and Dustin Thorn

Once vilified for its no-holds-barred violence, Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) has experienced dramatic growth over the past 20 years (David, 2012; Goyder, 2013; Sullivan 2011). Traditionally a male-dominated domain, women’s participation in MMA has increased substantially recently. In fact, on February 23, 2013, the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) featured a main fight card anchored by one of the most dominating mixed martial artists to enter the octagon. What made this fight, and this fighter, unique? It was a historic bout between two women, the first of its kind for the previously all-male UFC.