To say the new Lingerie Fighting Championships is controversial is an understatement. To say it was the hottest ticket in town last night would also be an understatement. The upstart league easily sold out the Faded Energy Arena and left thousands of disappointed fans without tickets.
The brainchild of Las Vegas fashion model Roni Taylor, the LFC features beautiful women fighting in nothing but lingerie. Critics have accused the league of setting back female mma by 20 years. But Taylor is unapologetic.
“Look, most women in mma are ugly. I’m sorry, but it’s true. Our fighters look like ring girls and they fight in lingerie and I don’t see anything wrong with that.”
Taylor says she got the idea for the league while attending a local mma event where two ring girls got into a fight. “It was a ring card issue. They both wanted to do round 3, a fight broke out and let me tell you that was the best fight all night. Every guy in the place was glued to it and I thought to myself, ‘now that’s a winner’.”
Taylor says she had no trouble recruiting fighters. “We have two criteria. You have to look great in your underthings. And you have to know how to fight.” One look at the league’s web-site makes it obvious Taylor succeeded on the first point. But can the girls fight? Really?
“Look, I’m not going to say every girl is a brilliant fighter,” Taylor admits. “But a couple are pretty damn good.” Taylor is no doubt referring to newcomers Feather “The Hammer” Hadden, Brenda “Juice” Jones and MaiNe “Main Event” Morgan. All three won their fights with relative ease. Hadden knocked out Sheila Cardinal early in the first round, Jones submitted Annie Day in the third round and MaiNe Morgan knocked out Megan Doll early in the second (Doll seemed to block every punch with her previously pretty face).
Hadden is a competitive body builder with extensive wrestling and boxing training. Jones had previously fought some amateur mma bouts (she is vague about her record, only saying she won more than she lost). Morgan says she has anger management issues she hopes to work out in the cage (Megan Doll can attest to that!)
“We have high hopes for all our girls,” Taylor says. “But I was especially impressed with MaiNe. She’s my hot chocolate and that girl has moves like you’ve never seen.” Taylor discovered MaiNe Morgan in a night club where she was working as a go-go dancer. “That girl can shake her little booty, let me tell you.”
Morgan showed off some impressive moves in her second round knock-out of Doll who had no answer for Morgan’s quick punches. Whether she’s dancing or fighting, Morgan seems to know her way around a cage.
In the first bout of the night, Feather “The Hammer” Hadden showed amazing punching power, knocking out Sheila Cardinal in just 11 seconds. Many of the sold out crowd hadn’t even found their seats yet.
The third bout featured Suzanne “Hawaiian Punch” Nakata versus Riley “Nuclear” Norris. The two put on a great show. Nakata has muay-thai and ju-jitsu training but seemed overwhelmed by Norris’ fierce striking ability. Norris caught Nakata with a flurry of unanswered blows in the third round, forcing referee Frank Parillo to stop the fight.
The fourth bout may have drawn the most cheers from the crowd but for all the wrong reasons. Kristen Young suffered a very embarrassing ‘wardrobe malfunction’ when opponent Kathleen Dodd accidentally pulled off her lingerie. This prompted a momentary halt to the fight while Young quickly put her outfit back on. When the fight resumed, Dodd made Young tap out in an ironic rear naked choke.
“I don’t think anyone minded,” Taylor says of the incident. “I think half the fans were there hoping to see a nip slip and they got a lot more. No one asked for a refund.”
By Taylor’s standards, the main event must have been a let down – no one lost their clothing. It was a very exciting fight, however, as Brenda Jones defeated Annie Day in the third round with a guillotine choke that GSP would have been proud of.
By the end of the night, most in attendance were surprised at the quality of the fights. It may be a gimmick but the Lingerie Fighting Championships delivered all the entertainment they promised and then some.