This example of awesome badassery, if you are unfamiliar with her and have also failed to read the giant green letters across the picture above, is Gina Carano. You are welcome.
She’s just one of the great things about mixed martial arts (actually, she doesn’t even fight professionally anymore). I love the whole sport: the fights, the fighters, the anticipation, the feeling of smug satisfaction upon seeing GSP pound the shit out of that asshole Koscheck for 5 rounds, the way Jon Jones defies gravity, seeing someone execute a perfect kimura or triangle choke… I even tolerate the frustrating moments, like every time UFC president Dana White opens his mouth… Seriously. Dude has nothin’ nice to say.
My dad introduced me to MMA when I was a kid, and watching fights was one of the many awesome activities we would do together. As I got older, I geeked out on stats, individual fighters, techniques specific to different styles of martial arts, and obviously getting my eyeballs on as many fights as I could. It got easier when the UFC started to really gain momentum and become a household name.
I remember the moment other people first learned about my love of MMA. I’d never really mentioned it because it wasn’t well known and no one else seemed all that into it. I had one buddy that shared my excitement; one night we got into a heated debate about our favorite fighters while having beers with a group of friends. We were both dorkily word-vomiting stats and techniques, and it took a few minutes before I realized everyone else at the table was staring at me.
“What, ahh, what are you talking about?” one of my girlfriends asked, looking amused. I explained that I had been an MMA fan for a long time, which was understandably news to them. The response to first discovering this was (in subtext; they didn’t exactly come right out and say it): But but but… you’re a girl.
But but but… wait, what? I am?! Shit. Why didn’t anyone tell me?! Well now I have to go rethink my entire gender identity, because everyone knows that there are no women anywhere in the whole wide world that could derive enjoyment from watching an MMA fight, let alone women who would actually become fighters. I mean, they’d have to have the same desire, drive, strength, and fortitude as men! Which we all know is just bananas.
What I think is bananas is that many people are still surprised– nay, shocked and befuddled– by the fact that I like to watch MMA, not because of the sport itself but because I have lady parts. Now, I don’t want to get up on my dainty pink lady soapbox and wax feminist all over everyone (because feminism is…bad? Yeah, bad! Equality for all is overrated!), but I’ve gotten this reaction so often over the years that I felt the need to make this bold and controversial statement: I love MMA, and I’m a girl!
Excuse me for going on about this, I must be menstruating. You know how we females get!
…where the hell did I put my purse with the Midol?!
Doesn’t seem weird to me that you like it because you’re a girl…I just want to know more. I have trouble watching fights. I’m just amazed and mystified by the lure of the fight. But here’s the thing–there are plenty of things about my life (not the least of which is the fact that I fell in love with and married a man in prison) that mystify people. So I just want to get it, viscerally, get the “kick” of the sport. There are sports that lure me absolutely–but for instance, when I watch guys smashing their heads into each other and against the frozen earth in football, I don’t get it. And same goes for fighting. But Kate, I want to understand!
Here comes the Boom!
I’m a bit confused as to how they got Gina’s name on my picture??
Kelly… I fuckin’ love you 🙂