Months ago, Khabib Nurmagomedov made headlines after implying that women’s mixed martial arts is inferior to men’s mixed martial arts. Specifically, Khabib used Julianna Peña’s victory over Amanda Nunes at UFC 269 as an example in support of his claim and, unsurprisingly, Peña took issue with these remarks.
Seven years ago, another Russian MMA legend, Fedor Emelianenko, made very similar remarks. And then-champion Carla Esparza as well as Joanna Jędrzejczyk both were offended, not unlike Julianna Peña years later.
The following article was published on this day seven years ago. It is presented to you in its original, unaltered form, courtesy of The MMA News Archives.
On This Day Seven Years Ago…
[ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED MARCH 12, 2015, 1:48 PM]
At the UFC 185 open workouts on Wednesday, UFC Women’s Strawweight Champion Carla Esparza and number one contender Joanna Jędrzejczyk took exception to recent comments made by MMA legend Fedor Emelianenko.
During a recent WHOA TV interview, the former PRIDE Heavyweight Champion Fedor Emelianenko controversially stated that he felt MMA is a man’s sport, adding that women have no business fighting in MMA.
Esparza and Jędrzejczyk, who compete in the co-main event this Saturday night at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas, disagree.
“I like him so much and he’s a living legend,” Jędrzejczyk said. “But I think we can do a pretty good job, you know? I think it’s not right. We can fight good, we can bring the audience and we can make the show better. That’s all.”
“Facts speak for themselves,” Esparza agreed. “He’s one of the greats. I have nothing against him. Maybe we differ a little bit in opinion. You know, I think Ronda and the crowd she brought in to LA, the proof is in the pudding. It shows right there.”
Esparza continued, “I think female MMA is basically the biggest female sport out there right now. We’re being put on the same stage as the guys, and obviously, Ronda is headlining even above all the guys. It just goes to show, we’re on top right now.”
“Some people are always going to feel the way they feel. But I think day-by-day, fight-by-fight, I’m hearing those whispers a lot less than I used to I think if we go out there and keep showing that we have skills, that we have heart — I feel like a lot of times girls bring it even more than the guys just with their tenacity and they’re just non-stop. That’s why it is where it is right now because they keep proving themselves.”
Esparza concluded, “We’re legit and we’re here to stay. Nothing is going to stop this momentum that’s been going with the women.”
What do you think about Fedor’s comments about WMMA?