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Friday, March 6, 2009

WAMMA's Inaugural Female MMA Rankings Poll

-- World Alliance of Mixed Martial Arts


Carano, Santos, LaRosa, and Fuji all Debut as Number One Ranked Fighters in WAMMA's Inaugural Female Rankings Poll

Orlando, Florida - The World Alliance of Mixed Martial Arts (WAMMA) made history on Thursday morning when it released the first-ever major rankings poll for female mixed martial artists.

The rankings, currently available in their entirety at www.GoWAMMA.com, consist of top ten rankings in the bantamweight (115.1-125 pounds), super bantamweight (125.1-135 pounds), and featherweight (135.1-145 pounds) weight classes.

"Female MMA has experienced tremendous growth in recent years but many of the sport's top women athletes are still being overlooked," said WAMMA Rankings Committee Chair Sam Caplan. "With these rankings, WAMMA hopes to help bring greater awareness to the depth that exists in female MMA. We also hope that these rankings are used to create championships in multiple weight classes, which will in turn create bigger opportunities for female fighters."

Leading the pack in the featherweight class are two of the most recognizable fighters in all of female MMA, Gina Carano and Cristiane "Cyborg" Santos. Both Carano and Santos finished tied for the top spot at 145 pounds, adding intrigue to a long-rumored showdown between the two fighters.

"I had a strong feeling that Gina Carano and Cybrog Santos would be ranked in the top two spots in the 145 pound weight classes in WAMMA's debut rankings," WAMMA Chief Operating Officer Mike Lynch began. "However, I was very surprised to see that WAMMA's pollsters were collectively torn when it came time to determine a number one ranked fighter. I think it goes without saying that female MMA would gain a tremendous boost if a match was signed to determine the clear cut number one female featherweight fighter in the world."

At super bantamweight, former BodogFIGHT women's champion Tara LaRosa is at the top of the 135 pound top ten, which features established fighters such as Roxanne Modafferi, Shayna Baszler, and Amanda Buckner. LaRosa, one of the true pioneers of female MMA and one of its most respected competitors, received votes from pollsters in every eligible weight class.

Ranked as the WAMMA number seven super bantamweight is former SmackGirl champion Hitomi Akano, who was just recently announced by the Strikeforce promotion as having signed to fight Santos. The two will meet in a 145 pound encounter during the promotion's April 11 event in San Jose that will be televised on Showtime. The fight is currently slated to be the first-ever fight between two ranked WAMMA female fighters.

With some of the world's top female athletes competing on a regular basis in Japan, it was little surprise to see that Megumi Fuji took the top spot in the bantamweight division by an overwhelming margin. Ranked in the top spot on every ballot submitted by WAMMA pollsters, Fuji's reputation amongst industry insiders as one of the sport's top pound-for-pound fighters -- female or male - can no longer be ignored.

The public can currently see the first-ever WAMMA rankings poll in its entirety at www.GoWAMMA.com. WAMMA's female rankings committee, which is an industry poll that consists of writers, promoters, trainers, and fighters voting outside of their respective weight class, will next convene on Wednesday, April 1. A complete list of WAMMA's female rankings pollsters can also be accessed via its official web site.

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CONTACT: WAMMA COO and Secretary Mike Lynch via phone at 321.239.8026 or by e-mail at MLynch@GoWAMMA.com

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ABOUT WAMMA (www.GoWAMMA.com): WAMMA is a multifaceted fighter and fan forward organization dedicated to leading the sport of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) to unprecedented levels of integrity, legitimacy and prosperity. With the help of forward-looking MMA promotions, WAMMA has created an environment where fighters from all organizations have the opportunity to openly compete to be the one true, undisputed champion in their respective weight classes based on WAMMA's objective MMA Rankings. WAMMA's newly created Fighter Advisory Board, co-chaired by MMA legend Randy "The Natural" Couture and world renowned trainer and five-time UFC champion Pat Miletich, will offer a unique resource for fighters.