Congratulations to mixed martial artist Liz Carmouche, who on Saturday competed for the UFC bantamweight title in a historic, first-ever women's fight against Ronda Rousey. Though early in the fight it looked like Carmouche had the upper hand, she eventually was defeated. But she can certainly claim victory for shining a spotlight on female athletes and openly gay athletes around the world.
On SB Nation's Bloody Elbow blog, Tim Burke named Carmouche one of the night's real winners along with Rousey, saying, "Carmouche deserves to be called a winner for a few reasons. She may have lost her bout, but she made it an exciting fight. She was an excellent representative of WMMA (Women's Mixed Martial Arts) all the way through this, even down to the post-fight press conference...Forget making history for a second - she made a lot of fans last night. And I'm one of them."
Carmouche wrote two guest blogs for us (here and here) about her journey from being a former U.S. Marine to practicing mixed martial arts. In the weeks leading up to the fight, she gave interviews to several mainstream and LGBT media outlets, and overall the media did a wonderful job of telling her remarkable story.
Carmouche received a well-deserved standing ovation for her efforts in the Octagon Saturday night, and GLAAD congratulates her on her history-making fight. We know she will continue to be a strong presence not just in her sport, but in our culture as well.