Most professional sports, such as hockey, tennis, and basketball, separate men’s and women’s sports leagues. In 2013, the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) disrupted this pattern by showcasing its first women’s mixed martial arts (MMA) fight in a once male-only fight league. While the UFC’s inclusion of female fighters is a step forward for gender equality, the change does not come without issues. This essay focuses on the framing of female UFC fighters on Twitter over a four year period. Through an intersectional feminist analysis, it examines how Twitter users frame female fighters’ bodies in relation to gender, race, class, and sexuality. It argues that there is an imbalance in attention paid to female fighters in regards to gender, race, class, and sexuality, and this constructs contradictory messaging about feminism, female fighters’ bodies, and the UFC on Twitter.
How to Cite:
Quinney, A., 2016. The @UFC and third wave feminism? Who woulda thought? Gender, fighters, and framing on Twitter. Martial Arts Studies, (2), pp.34–58. DOI: http://doi.org/10.18573/j.2016.10063