Reporter's Notebook: Women's Mixed Martial Arts

University of Minnesota Prof. Stacy J.Ingraham, with the College of Education & Human Development School of Kinesiology Exercise, is Kaitlin Young's favorite professor. But while Ingraham says that Young is one of the top students she's ever taught, she remains leery of Mixed Martial Arts and doesn't even think that men should be fighting. "I don't embrace people hitting each other," she says.

Ingraham goes on to say:

"When the feminist movement came into play we stopped talking about the differences between men and women," says Ingraham. "People argue that men and women are not different. But it ignores how different men and women really are. For example, women are more hyper-mobile. And this extra-flexibility in their ligaments and tendons makes their joints not nearly as stable in sports based upon leverages. When women try to use force against rotation it makes them more susceptible to injury."

But Dr. Happy Reynolds, with five years of combat fight experience as a ringside physician, doesn't buy the idea of women not being designed to fight.

"Well I think it is a moot point to be honest as long as some trains well and have good match up they should be treated as any other athlete," she writes to CP in an email. "I will say this however, from both a medical and former competitor standpoint- part of the problem with women in MMA (and other ring sports) is very limited weight classes- if only 135 is being promoted- it makes it tough for a woman who is really at 145 lbs or 150 to have an even fight if her opponent is a natural 135 or even 125 lbs."

Now this does make for more inherent danger for injury, as well as if skill levels are equal- the person with more weight does have an advantage. It is much harder for women to cut weight- this has more to due with estrogen as well as our bodies will for the most part keep enough fat to continue to ovulate- hard to beat biology."

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