Guilherme Cruz writing for MMAFighting reports that Shooto Brazil 45 in Rio de Janeiro on Friday will feature a bout between a man and a woman.
Bantamweights Emerson Falcao (0-1) and Juliana Velasquez (0-0) will compete in a professional three-round bout. Falcao is part of promoter Andre Pederneira' Nova Uniao. Velasquez is part of Team Nogueira.
Falcao reported he was hurt and would be unable to fight; it was then that Pederneiras thought outside the box.
"Andre Pederneiras came up with the idea," Velasquez told MMAFighting.com. "He asked Team Nogueira for a female fighter and my team believes Iím ready, so I accepted the challenge. My expectations are the best. Iím well trained to get there and win.
"Iím used to training with man every day. Iím a professional judoka and I know the adrenaline of the competition, I know how to handle this."Update:
Osiris Maia, member of the Brazilian Mixed Martial Arts Confederation, the entity responsible for regulating the Shooto Brazil events, is not sure if they will allow the male vs. female fight to happen.
"Thereís nothing in the rules that specific prohibits a man to fight a woman, but when you interpret the rules you know that both athletes must be in the same level, so thereís no way a man should be allowed to fight a woman," Maia told MMAFighting.com.
"We havenít received the official card yet from the promotion, weíll get that tomorrow at the weigh-ins," he continued. "I wasnít informed about that yet. They announced it to the media only, but if you ask me if weíre allowing it to happen, I donít think so. I think itís a disparity. Weíll see whatís going on tomorrow at the weigh-ins."