NEWS

Female MMA fighters still a rarity despite the 'Rousey effect'

08/06/2015 04:17 EDT | Updated 08/06/2016 05:59 EDT
Johannie Gervais sees the beauty in a well placed push kick.

When she speak of fighting, it's more Hindu war gods than rip-your-face-off. And when she enters the octagon, it is to the song Feeling Good by Nina Simone. 

That should not make her any less fearsome to opponents on the amateur circuit. Now if only there were more of them. 

Gervais says the success of Ronda Rousey in UFC has certainly had an impact in the way the public looks at female fighters.

"When you have that in front of you, how can you say that female fights are not worth watching?" she says.

But the trickle down to women willing to take on the rigorous Mixed Martial Arts training needed to engage in combat has still not happened. 

Trainer Levis Labrie admits it's tougher to find fights for a female MMA fighter because, though the popularity of training has increased, stepping in the octagon is another thing entirely.

The sport chooses you, not the other way around according to Labrie.

And, fact is, there are just not that many chosen women at the moment. 

Gervais's first fight was against a woman with more than 10 fights behind her.

She made a threatening throat slash gesture to Gervais before the fight.

Gervais didn't respond. It's not her style.

She beat her with technique instead.

On July 4, she won the first Fightquest amateur belt awarded to a woman in MMA in Quebec.

It was her third fight.  

Labrie's job gets easier now. Champions don't look for fights, the challengers looking to take your belt come to you.

And Gervais says she is ready.

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