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Fighting Visibility – Sports Media and Female Athletes in the UFC - Illinois Scholarship Online
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Fighting Visibility: Sports Media and Female Athletes in the UFC

Jennifer McClearen


Over the first twenty years of the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s (UFC) history, the mixed-martial arts (MMA) promotion adamantly excluded female athletes and upheld sports media’s time-honored tradition of ignoring and undervaluing sportswomen. Yet, in the early 2010s, Ronda Rousey burst onto the MMA stage and convinced the UFC to include women, which ushered in a new fervor for female athletes in a male-dominated cultural milieu. The popularity of women in the UFC might suggest that female athletes in combat sports are breaking the barriers of a notoriously stubborn glass ceiling. However, ... More

Keywords: UFC, MMA, female athletes, visibility, representation, labor, sports media, brand culture, neoliberalism, branded difference

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2021 Print ISBN-13: 9780252043734
Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: September 2021 DOI:10.5622/illinois/9780252043734.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Jennifer McClearen, author
University of Texas at Austin