Earlier this year I dissected some comments made by Mark Pavelich who proclaimed that he “is never going to put female MMA in my organization.”
The outspoken CEO of Canada’s longest running MMA promotion, the MFC, justified his stance on the basis that “I just don’t like to see females hitting each other.”
Interestingly enough, Mark has done an about face as to the reason why he won’t have WMMA in the MFC. In an interview that aired on tonight’s episode of MMA Meltdown on the Fight Network Mark stated that it was lack of depth that is keeping women out of his organization. He had the following exchange with host Gabriel Morency:
GM -It seems like Women’s MMA is very trendy right now, you guys have shied away from it, is there a reason?
MP – Listen I have respect for female athletes at all levels, the difference is I just cant put a proper weight division together with you know 6-8 higher level girls because some of the other organizations started that, that’s the only reason why I’m not involved in female MMA, I wish them all the best of luck but, you know, I don’t want to be crucified because I’m the only show that doesn’t do female MMA pretty much. Its like if I could put together 8 unreal girls you know I would probably be interested in doing that but that’s not the case so I’m not going to be involved in female MMA
As previously discussed, the reality is that an outright ban on WMMA based on a promoter not liking seeing females hitting each other likely runs afoul of Canadian Human Rights legislation (see the previous post, particularly the comments by Canadian Human Rights lawyer and MMA fan Donna Seale) . Today’s comments provide a business justification for the prohibition which may be more legally palatable.
As WMMA continues to grow and the talent pool increases it will be interesting to see if the MFC further evolves their position on this issue or if the organisation will remain, as Gabriel quipped, “like the old-school taverns Marc, no-women allowed“.