By Nathan Weller.
In a history making move, Australian female duo; Bec Rawlings (25) and Alex Chambers (36), are the first Australian women to fight in the UFC. A few years ago there was only a handful of Australians within UFC, however none of them were female. Fast forward to 2014 and the extreme sport is enjoying an increase in the number of Australian fighters, and now we have our very own Aussie females entering the octagon.
The UFC began in 1993, and has become one of the fastest rising sports. The maiden UFC event was in Denver, Colorado on November 12th 1993. The UFC only included male fighters inside the caged octagon. However, on November 16th 2012, UFC President Dana White confirmed that UFC would now also consist of women with the signing of their female fighter Ronda Rousey. On December 11th 2013 UFC signed eleven female fighters to fill their 115 pound weight division (Strawweight Division).
Proud Queenslander Rawlings said in an interview that, “It’s amazing that the UFC is starting to embrace Australia and that Australia is embracing UFC with open arms.” Rawlings went onto say “Once the UFC announced that they were introducing women into the sport then it was only a matter of time until they brought in our weight class.”
During an interview with Jason Tulio, Rawlings spoke openly about her domestic violence issues that she has had to deal with in the past. Rawlings said she believes that her past has shaped into the fighter that she is today, and both the domestic issues and rough upbringing has moulded her.
She started her MMA career in Launceston, Tasmania in 2010 before relocating to Brisbane, Australia. Rawlings has a professional mixed martial arts record of five wins and four losses from nine fights, with three of her victories coming by submission. Rawlings joined the UFC on December 11th 2013, after the Strawweight division was created. Rawlings’ first fight after The Ultimate Fighter was against Heather Jo Clark on December 12th 2014. She lost the fight by unanimous decision.
Alex Chambers, from New South Wales, has also made her way to the UFC. Chambers said that she is so excited to make her UFC debut in Las Vegas. She went onto say that she was excited to be leading the next generation of female athletes at the same time. She thinks that this is a great opportunity for Australia, and that it proves that if you have a dream to pursue it.
Chambers will take on the octagon cage name of Alex “Astro-Girl” Chambers. She has a degree in astrophysics and is completing a degree in mechatronic engineering. In a dramatic life-changing event Chambers has decided to turn her back on robotics, to peruse her dream in mixed martial arts. She said in an interview, “It can be seen as a sacrifice, but I don’t see it that way I see it as a chance to follow my dreams.”
Chambers has her third Dan black belt in karate and her purple belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. She also has a mixed martial arts record of four wins and two losses from six fights, with two of her wins coming by knockout and one by submission. Chambers signed with the UFC on December 11th 2013 to compete in the strawweight division. Chambers competed in her fight against Aisling Daly on December 12th 2014, and lost the fight via submission in the first round.
The UFC is becoming one of the most watched sports worldwide. It has a winning combination of mixed martial arts, and entertainment value attributed to some of the top-ranked fighters in the sport.
Today, I share the ground-breaking story of two Australian women, Bec Rawlings and Alex Chambers, who have set the benchmark for Australian women to fight within the UFC octagon. These two women have made history and are paving the way for more Australian females to join this popular martial arts sport. They have done our country proud, and this is an encouraging story for everyone who has a dream that, no matter what it is, you can achieve it. Bec Rawlings and Alex Chambers have shown us dreams can come true, as they debut in the UFC octagon cage.
Image Courtesy of Card Girl