TUFF Girls – The Card that Changed Amateur WMMA

Palmer vs. VanDermeer Courtesy Dave Mandel/Sherdog
Palmer vs. VanDermeer Courtesy Dave Mandel/Sherdog

It was five years ago a card was held in the amateur ranks that launched careers and made a statement that the amateur women’s divisions were expanding.

Tuff-n-uff already broke some barriers in terms of the women’s divisions, having a female fight headline their first ever MMA card. It was the jumping off point for many fighters including Tonya Evinger, Lacey Schuckman, Kaitlin Young, and Sarah Schneider.

On July 10th 2009 in Las Vegas, the promotion went all in with what would be the first amateur all female MMA card. At the time, the amateur divisions were just starting and many were worried the depth wasn’t there. It was an important step in the growth of the sport as it proved there was a market for amateur female fighters, and gave fighters oppeotunities to gain experience and groom themselves to be the next stars of the sport.

Fighters from 11 states and three countries populated the event. The card itself had a few names that are still around. Among them was Colleen Schneider, who was on “The Ultimate Fighter 20”. Two other fighters on the card, Kate McGray and LaToya Walker, will be fighting in the coming weeks.

Many different weight classes were represent from 125 to 165, and  four of the fights saw finishes. The card established Tuff-n-uff as the place to be as an amateur female fighter and showed the popularity of females in fighting. If there is any proof, just look at the talent that had went through it’s ranks after. These include  UFC champion Ronda Rousey, Jessamyn Duke, and Ashlee Evans-Smith.

It also helped other promoters realize they had some local talent to feature on their cards. Fighters would get more opportunities to fight more often to gain experience before turning pro.

Tuff-n-uff continues to produce upcoming talent. With its partnership with Invicta, it is guaranteeing the best amateur talent have the opportunities to go pro. Also it continues to put on multiple fights female fights on their cards. This weekend we will see three great bouts, including a battle of two of the best flyweights in the amateur ranks when Roma Pawelek takes on Aspen Ladd.

We sincerely hope Tuff-n-uff considers doing an all female card again because with the talent out there now, they would make history again.

You can watch the matches on the card below:


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