When Rousey and Carmouche finally fought in the octagon, many news outlets proclaimed that women's MMA had finally hit the mainstream. I (and I'm sure many others) think that women's MMA still has quite some way to go before it's truly accepted, by both fans and non-fans alike.
Anyway, after re-watching Cyborg (female) vs. Finney, I got thinking. For those who cringe at the thought of two women hitting each other, the thought of seeing one (part)woman land knees to the abdomen (ie: the baby maker) of a grounded woman is a step too far.
Just as the removal of soccer kicks and stomps arguably helped 'soften the blow' for new fans, could the removal of knees to a grounded opponent from the rules for WMMA, help legitimise it to new-and-non-fans?
A few points to consider:
Knees to the body of a grounded opponent are not particularly common, as we often see fighters land primarily punches on the ground, interspersed with knees, often used to finish. However, to the uninitiated, these shots look particularly brutal.
By removing them, and making a point of the fact that these shots would be considered illegal in the women's fight only, new fans (and I'm sure, a number of current fans too) would feel that the safety of the fighter really is of paramount importance, and for this reason, knees are prohibited on the ground.
We also need to consider the fact that fighters are allowed to wear cups to protect their meat-and-veg, whereas the bodies of female fighters are exposed and open to attack.
I'm not some Captain Save-a-Hoe, and I'm not even decided on whether I think removing them would be for the best, but I do think that the power generated by a knee is likely to be more than that of a punch (in most cases), and when landed on a grounded opponent, this force is only multiplied, which could have serious implications for fighters wishing to have children once they've retired.
So, what's the opinion of the board?