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Pro WMMA sees 46 percent increase over the past year

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According to a Jan. 1 report from Wombat Sports, professional women's mixed martial arts saw a huge increase between 2012 and 2013.

Over the past 12 months, the sport saw a 46 percent increase in pro fights, thanks to the addition of new female divisions in the UFC, XFC and a slew of other high-level promotions such as Legacy FC.

There was a total of 415 professional WMMA fights held in 2013, 130 more than the amount held in 2012.

Just 285 pro female MMA bouts went down in 2012, and none were held that year under the UFC banner.

However, the UFC stepped up by holding 16 female bouts under its umbrella in 2013, including three appearances by bantamweight title contender Liz Carmouche and two from 135-pound champ Ronda Rousey.

Holly Holm and Joanne Calderwood were among the most active female fighters in 2013, as both went to battle four times over a 12-month span.

Invicta FC held 45 female fights in 2013, up by six from the year prior.

Wombat Sports also reports that 181 women made their professional debuts in 2013.

While the 46 percent increase is significant, it should be noted that women's MMA still has much work to be done to reach the same level of saturation as the men's game.

The UFC alone put on over 300 bouts in 2013 that featured male competitors.

Add that to the 25 male-dominated Bellator cards, as well as the countless small-time regional shows that took place last year, and it adds up to at least 1,000 male MMA fights that went down over the past 12 months.

2014 should be another big year for WMMA, with promotions such as the World Series of Fighting announcing the introduction of female divisions.

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