New WAMMA weight class for women
The World Alliance of Mixed Martial Arts (WAMMA) announced Thursday that it will launch the first-ever nationally recognized rankings poll dedicate to female fighters.
The new female poll will tabulate top ten rankings in the 125, 135, and 145 pound weight classes.
WAMMA also conducts a monthly top ten rankings poll for male fighters that has been utilized to crown champions in the heavyweight and lightweight division. The association’s heavyweight champion Fedor Emelianenko, successfully defended his title last month against former UFC heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski while Shinya Aoki won the then-vacant lightweight title in December against Eddie Alvarez during FEG’s “Dynamite!!” event.
The male rankings is a media-only poll and will be conducted separately of the female poll, which will differ in that it will be an industry poll. As such fighters, managers, trainers, and promoters will be allowed to vote on a limited basis. According to a press release issued Thursday, fighters will be unable to vote for themselves nor will they be allowed to vote in the weight class in which they most recently competed in.
Additionally, WAMMA is claiming that pollsters will be subject to a vetting process in which their ballots are analyzed for any potential abnormalities that might exist due to a bias.
“We are sure that the decision to conduct an industry poll for our female rankings will raise some eyebrows,” began WAMMA Chief Operating Officer Michael Lynch. “However, after an exhaustive search, it was determined that while there are many knowledgeable experts on the field of female MMA, most of them have an industry affiliation. Much like the NFL allows its players to vote in its Pro Bowl selections, WAMMA has elected to follow a similar model. We’re going to allow the female fighting industry tell the world who its best fighters are.”
Serving as the chair for the new female poll is the founding owner and publisher of this web site, Sam Caplan contributing writer for CBSSports.com. Caplan also serves as the chair for WAMMA’s mens poll.
“WAMMA has billed itself as a fan and fighter-forward organization,” said Caplan. “There have been several calls to start a prominent women’s poll to help female fighters gain additional exposure. The decision to respond to those requests and start a monthly poll is proof that WAMMA is sincere in its statements about helping advance the growth of the sport.”
Jeff Osborne, promoter of the HOOKnSHOOT promotion and one of female MMA’s strongest advocates, along with Team Bison MMA trainer Mike Reilly, fighter-turned-writer Adam Baker of DreamFighters.com, and freelance MMA journalist Yael Grauer have already signed on as pollsters.