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Old 12-30-2013, 02:23 PM   #1
David Meverden
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Fair male vs female fight?

OK, bear with me here. I got to thinking after I read an article about how there is no female fighter even close to Rhonda Rousey in the UFC and after having a conversation about a publicity stunt male vs female fight. My coworker was wondering if you could have some kind of rule that would even the playing field in a male vs female fight.

Well what if you matched male and female fighters based on lean body mass instead of total body mass?

If you look at muscle tissue in women and men the contractile ability is mostly equivalent for equal cross sectional area. Similarly, if men and women with similar training backgrounds are compared on lb for lb basis of LEAN body mass (not total body mass since women naturally have higher body fat), their strength levels are typically fairly close, especially in the lower body (not identical, especially at 1RM tasks, due to neurological and geometric/anthropomorphic factors, but somewhat close).

If you assume Rhonda Rousey has 18% bodyfat and a typical male fighter has 10% bodyfat then that means that the 135# bantamweight Rousey would be matched against a 125# male featherweight because both have about 110# of lean tissue.

So, thoughts? do you think Rhousey could hang against most male featherweights? Would she have a shot against Demetrious Johnson, the featherweight champ? I know that if she keeps finding zero real female competition I'd love to find out.
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Old 12-30-2013, 05:21 PM   #2
Ralphie_Martinez
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Re: Fair male vs female fight?

i would say that Rousey in particular would not. not because she isn't strong enough or couldn't toss a 125 lb male fighter around, but for her lack of boxing ability. Not than any man can out punch any woman but if she got punched by any 125lb UFC fghter (male) she would probably not have a chance. Now if let's say Cyborg was in the UFC, she would and probably could wipe out most of the males 145lb fighters, there's a video of her grappling with Tito Ortiz (former 205'er) who probably walks around at 230 or so, and gave him fits. So some women probably have a chance in 1 or 2 aspects of MMA but as a whole Rousey in particular, I would say no.
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Old 12-31-2013, 07:05 AM   #3
Rob Carrillo
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Re: Fair male vs female fight?

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Meverden View Post
OK, bear with me here. I got to thinking after I read an article about how there is no female fighter even close to Rhonda Rousey in the UFC and after having a conversation about a publicity stunt male vs female fight. My coworker was wondering if you could have some kind of rule that would even the playing field in a male vs female fight.

Well what if you matched male and female fighters based on lean body mass instead of total body mass?

If you look at muscle tissue in women and men the contractile ability is mostly equivalent for equal cross sectional area. Similarly, if men and women with similar training backgrounds are compared on lb for lb basis of LEAN body mass (not total body mass since women naturally have higher body fat), their strength levels are typically fairly close, especially in the lower body (not identical, especially at 1RM tasks, due to neurological and geometric/anthropomorphic factors, but somewhat close).

If you assume Rhonda Rousey has 18% bodyfat and a typical male fighter has 10% bodyfat then that means that the 135# bantamweight Rousey would be matched against a 125# male featherweight because both have about 110# of lean tissue.

So, thoughts? do you think Rhousey could hang against most male featherweights? Would she have a shot against Demetrious Johnson, the featherweight champ? I know that if she keeps finding zero real female competition I'd love to find out.
Mighty Mouse is the flyweight champ, and I believe he would K(Rousey)TFO! I do however believe that Meisha put up a damn good fight against Rousey and with that being said, I disagree that no female fighter in the UFC is even close to her.
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Old 12-31-2013, 09:48 AM   #4
Mark E. Wallace
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Re: Fair male vs female fight?

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Originally Posted by Rob Carrillo View Post
Mighty Mouse is the flyweight champ, and I believe he would K(Rousey)TFO! I do however believe that Meisha put up a damn good fight against Rousey and with that being said, I disagree that no female fighter in the UFC is even close to her.
I'm new to UFC, but I agree with that last statement from Rob. Rousey's grappling game outclasses all of her opponents (no surprise, since she's an Olympic medalist), but Meisha was able hang with her until she hit the floor.

Rousey will find the road to be a bit rougher if/when she encounters someone who can stay on their feet *and* punch with her. `Course, that's easier said than done against an Olympic bronze medalist. If Rousey can get her girl down, she's going to submit her.

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Old 12-31-2013, 11:37 AM   #5
David Meverden
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Re: Fair male vs female fight?

OK, OK, Rousey might not be able to handle the deeper talent pool on the male side in terms of striking.

But what do you guys think of the idea in general of classing by lean bodyweight to level the playing field? Would that level it enough to make some male female matches legit? I guess it might encourage fighters to get fat, but you could probably do something about that too.
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Old 01-02-2014, 08:35 PM   #6
Richie Glanzer
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Not any elite male

I'm sure she can take the average MMA gym goer but there is no way she can take anyone in the UFC.

Miesha Tate is tough as nails and I give her a ton of respect. That girl has proven over and over and over that she can take a beating. But a man would make her tap or knock her out in the first minute.

Ronda is great. But its for a girl. (And she's also an ******* from what I can tell)
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Old 01-04-2014, 09:22 AM   #7
Rob Carrillo
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Re: Fair male vs female fight?

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Meverden View Post
OK, OK, Rousey might not be able to handle the deeper talent pool on the male side in terms of striking.

But what do you guys think of the idea in general of classing by lean bodyweight to level the playing field? Would that level it enough to make some male female matches legit? I guess it might encourage fighters to get fat, but you could probably do something about that too.
well, for the most part, aside from the heavyweight division (and on an individual fighter / weight class basis), fighters are weighing in at lean body weight. what always amazes me are the fighters like BJ Penn and Nate Diaz that fight in multiple weight classes. weight classes are a huge part of the fight game (both in terms of strategy to give the fighter the best advantage and how they need to train and diet for the fight). just speaking out loud...I know you know all this...I just don't know what could be done differently to "level the playing field." it seems like it's all part of the fight game already. fight as light as you can to make you the bigger fighter without cutting too much to jeopardize your performance...idk... with the talent in the UFC, I just don't see there being a fair male / female fight. at least, not in terms of stand-up. unless, like was said above, you're Cris Cyborg...or Falon Fox (the chick that used to be a dude)...lmao

Last edited by Rob Carrillo : 01-04-2014 at 09:27 AM. Reason: ramble on
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Old 01-04-2014, 09:30 AM   #8
Rob Carrillo
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Re: Fair male vs female fight?

whenever I think of Cyborg, I can't help but think of this Cyborg:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Om3sZo9KIxI (WFS)

one of the greatest fights ever. if you've never seen it before, be sure to watch to the very end!!
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Old 01-04-2014, 07:47 PM   #9
David Meverden
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Re: Fair male vs female fight?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Carrillo View Post
well, for the most part, aside from the heavyweight division (and on an individual fighter / weight class basis), fighters are weighing in at lean body weight.
Not sure what you mean here. Sure they are fairly lean, but I'm talking about bodyweight minus body fat which differs significantly between genders. Most fighters look about 10% or a bit less bodyfat, whereas female fighters who appear about as lean are probably closer to 18% bodyfat just because of biological factors. So, if you went by fat free body mass a fairly lean 145 woman would get paired against a fairly lean 130 or so man, which would even things some. Maybe not enough, but I thought it was an interesting idea.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Carrillo View Post
whenever I think of Cyborg, I can't help but think of this Cyborg:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Om3sZo9KIxI (WFS)

one of the greatest fights ever. if you've never seen it before, be sure to watch to the very end!!
Nice! Thanks, that was entertaining. I like stand up (I wish K-1 had taken off in the US), and a good slugfest is always entertaining.
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Old 01-05-2014, 11:24 AM   #10
Dakota Base
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Re: Fair male vs female fight?

I haven't read all of the responses yet, but I'll make a couple comments on this aspect of the idea:

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Meverden View Post
Well what if you matched male and female fighters based on lean body mass instead of total body mass?

If you look at muscle tissue in women and men the contractile ability is mostly equivalent for equal cross sectional area. Similarly, if men and women with similar training backgrounds are compared on lb for lb basis of LEAN body mass (not total body mass since women naturally have higher body fat), their strength levels are typically fairly close, especially in the lower body (not identical, especially at 1RM tasks, due to neurological and geometric/anthropomorphic factors, but somewhat close).
I don't agree with this strategy. The medical theory for "muscular equivalency" is out there that supports this, but the real world results don't support it in the least. When you look at strength standards and records between men and women, you just can't line up "lean masses" and expect the same strength.

For example:

Olympic Lifting records: Men's 52kg class Snatch = 137kg, Clean = 168kg. For WOMEN to come close to matching these numbers, you have to jump up to the 75kg class: Snatch = 131kg, Clean = 161kg. If you ratio these records on standard athlete %BF's (not necessarily accurate for Olympic lifters), expecting that the female version would carry 8-10% more fat than the male counterpart, the Women's 58kg records should approximately match the Men's 52kg records. BUT THEY DON'T. Similarly, the 69kg Men's records outclass the 75kg+ Women's records by 10kg+ in both lifts, which were set by women weighing 103kg and 133kg. Lean mass matching would have said the women needed to be in the ~77kg ballpark, not 103-133kg.

USAPL Powerlifting records: 56kg Collegiate Men's and 52kg Teen Men's Bench records = 137kg and 145kg respectively. Only the 90kg and 90kg+ Collegiate Women's class records match these at 142.5kg and 145kg respectively. The LIGHTEST Men's class I could find shows 67.5kg Men's record Deadlift at 272kg. No Women's Class meets this Deadlift, 75kg women through 90kg+ Women's records are only 227kg to 210kg (apparently there was some wicked 75kg chick). Teen 52kg and Collegiate 60kg (lightest I could find) Squat 217kg and 255kg. Heaviest Women's Squat records are 232kg and 235kg for 82kg and 90kg+. Again, lean mass doesn't come close to lining up for strength.

Rippetoe & Kilgore Strength Standards: I copied the Rip & Kil tables from Exrx.net into excel, then eyeballed the range for each of the 6 lifts for ALL levels, Untrained through Elite (5 categories). For ALL lifts except the Press, 132lb Men's Standards EXCEED the 199lb+ Women's Standards for ALL EXPERIENCE LEVELS. In the Press, the 148lb Men's standard exceeds the Women's 199lb+ standard. Since the 199lb+ class is unlimited, I took a look at the 198lb Women's Standards. The Men's 123lb Standard exceeds the Women's 198lb Standards in ALL LIFTS except the Press. The 114lb Elite Men's Standard is almost identical for all lifts to the 198lb Women's standards. So we're talking about ~60-85lb Weight differences for equivalent strengths. Using %LBM, we should be looking at a 132lb man and a 150lb woman being equivalent, but such is not the case.

So if you tried to scale weight classes by strength, you'd be looking at guys giving up WAY too much height and reach, let alone weight. A 200lb Female Athlete is a heck of a lot bigger than a 125lb Male Athlete, in every dimension. By the time you brought the woman up to the man's level on strength, she's so tall, long, and heavy that it has now put the man at a huge disadvantage.

Running, Triathlon, Swimming Records: Of course I can't compare on a weight basis, but here's a peak at the relative speed and endurance capacity of the two sexes. Men's 10k run record is over 3min faster than the Women's. Comparing the Top 10 men and Top 10 women, this 3min gap holds true. Men's 5k records are 1.5min faster than Women's, again, comparing the Top 10 of each. Women are 7min behind Men in Half Marathon records, and 12min behind in Marathon records. Women are also 12min behind Men in Olympic length (32.1mi) Triathlons. Women are 20seconds behind, in a 4min race, in the 400m Freestyle swim. "Flo-Jo" was 2 full seconds slower than Bolt in the 200m and just under 1sec slower than him in the 100m (funny that both the Men's and Women's 100 & 200m records are held by the same respective man and woman). Women's 400m record is ~4.5sec behind in a ~45sec race.

Beyond all of that, I have fought, wrestled, trained, and sparred with women several times over the last 20yrs, crossing a pretty wide spectrum of 115lb chicks clear up to 230lb girls that could bend railtrack by hand. Compared to men, the strength to lean mass ratio just isn't the same, and you can feel it like night and day.

Women are behind in strength, speed, and endurance. Not an insult, just a fact of life, the point being here that there is no way to level the playing field physically to have a sporting competition.

Last edited by Dakota Base : 01-05-2014 at 11:28 AM.
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