Why Cyborg's Expulsion for Steroids is Good for Women's MMA
I'll be the @$$hole and say what we all know to be the truth:
This is good for women's MMA.
Regardless of whether you like what it says about human nature or not, the main reason women's MMA was starting to gain traction a few years ago was because of Gina Carano. Not simply because she was hot and we want to drool, but because, deep down inside, we all think that being attractive is actually a hinderance to fighting, so watching a girl who looks like that throw down, and do it WELL, got people interested.
To quote a Gumpism, "Never pick a fight with a really ugly looking guy."
Now once they were interested, most people quickly got beyond the looks and starting respecting the sport for what it is: talented females fighters showing heart, talent and skill. This is a key point. This is what gives women's MMA validity over other exploitative quasi-combat involving females like jello wrestling and Foxy Boxing.
However, when Carano disappeared after her loss to Cyborg, that all went away. Carano left the scene and took with her many of the fans. Some lost interest because the hot female fighter was gone, true, but many more lost interest because Cyborg isn't a fun fighter to watch- for a host of reasons. Moreover, quite frankly, many really knew deep down inside that there was something not quite right with Cyborg.
The bigger blow was that women's MMA stopped growing after that. New fans weren't being lured in by Carano, and those who were unfamiliar with the sport were looking at Cyborg and going, "Makes sense that she is going to dominate- why do I need to watch?" Or even, "Yeah, that makes sense. What do they think is going to happen when you put a girl who looks like that in with 'normal' women."
We don't want to talk about it, but there is an element for whom Cyborg turned women's MMA into a quasi-freak show... I don't say that to trash Cyborg- she is no doubt a talented and hardworking individual, despite her attempts to take shortcuts. But she did become a rock on the top of women's MMA, limiting its upward mobility. Now that this has been publicly rectified, I wouldn't be surprised if women's MMA experiences a resurgence. I certainly hope so. I wouldn't even be against seeing Cyborg back in the ring one day, steroid free.
Overall, a good day for women's MMA.