Yesterday, we had a little conversation about the questions raised by women fighting in the MMA.
We wondered if there was a technical appeal to the women's side of cage fighting that gives it an attraction beyond the obvious primal tug of sex and violence.
Women's basketball is more than a slower, less athletic version of the men's game. It emphasizes fundamental skills and if you follow it long enough you come to appreciate how certain positive feminine qualities blend into the game. For those reasons, it's not better or worse than the male version. Just different.
Does the same thing hold true for women's MMA fighting?
Last night after her team finished destroying their opponent in what would have been a TKO, I asked one of the top female athletes in the world what she thought about it. For those who follow Diana Taurasi and know how tough she is on the court, her response won't be surprising in the least.
"You watch that sport in general and it's pretty serious. You can get mangled in it and if that's your cup of tea, go for it. They go hard, they could probably beat up most dudes," Taurasi said with a frightening little chuckle.
No doubt about that.
Asked about the sport playing up the sexual aspect and perhaps taking advantage of women, Taurasi who like most top athletes is very practical in her worldview, had no issues.
"People like that. People like to watch that. It's no different than watching a boxing match. Those guys have nice bodies. I don't mind watching just to see their bodies. I really don't know who's going to win and don't really care."
The Strikeforce event comes to Phoenix while the Mercury are on the road but if the schedules allowed, Taurasi said she would definitely attend.
"I love watching that stuff. It's so competitive and you have to be so focused because really if you go in there with a lack of mental strength you might die. That's serious."
That answer right there is the heart of what attracts a warrior like Taurasi to MMA fighting. The stakes are as high as they get and the challenge of the competition is a draw that most normal people can only barely related to.
It's not hard imaging Taurasi, a superb athlete with incredible toughness and drive, trying her hand in the ring. She agreed, "I don't mind pain so I think if I would train I would."
Diana already has a reputation around women's basketball for her deadly elbows. In true MMA fashion Taurasi raised the stakes even higher when asked about her weapons, "Oh yeah, they're lucky they haven't seen my fists."