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WMMA Press Association Awards marred by lack of balance

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According to a Dec. 20 report from Bluegrass MMA, the WMMA Press Association is holding its fifth annual awards ceremony to recognize the best in women's MMA for 2013.

The WMMA Press Association Awards is divided into over a dozen categories, with topics ranging from "Fighter of the Year" to "Promotion of the Year."

Other categories include "Knockout of the Year" and "Submission of the Year," along with awards to honor the ammy fighter of the year and best sponsor.

By all accounts, the purpose of the WMMA Press Association Awards is to honor exceptional performance in various aspects of women's MMA.

It has true potential to be a great annual event, but unfortunately a severe lack of representation has marred the voting process for the awards.

The WMMA Press Association claims to be a gathering of the best journalists in the realm of female fighting, yet it is comprised of just eight media members from seven different sites.

Included in the committee are the following: MMA Rising's Robert Sargent, Gina Begley of ProWMMA Now!, Katrina Belcher from TheUltimateFemaleFighter.com, Lacey Naher of Real Women's MMA, Tim Peterson of Women's MMA Today, Sherdog.com freelance writer Yael Grauer, WMMA Roundup's Kristin Ursy and Marq Piocos of Wombat Sports.

Each of the aforementioned media members are talented journalists, but they represent less than 10 percent of the individuals who cover women's MMA on a daily basis.

With that said, its clearly improper to label the WMMA Press Association Awards as the defining annual awards presentation in women's MMA.

Dozens of WMMA media professionals were left off the committee for unknown reasons, and that makes for some quite unbalanced voting.

The list of qualified individuals that were excluded from the committee includes: TheMMACorner.com's Rob Tatum, Fansided.com's Josh Sanchez, Bloody Elbow's Steph Daniels, Examiner.com's Eric Holden, Alchemist Radio's Mitch Ciccarelli, MMA Jam's Stacey Lynn and Ultimate MMA editor Bre Armstrong.

Without the inclusion of the aforementioned WMMA journalists, the 2013 WMMA Press Association Awards loses credibility.

In comparison, the World MMA Awards is far more respected because award winners are chosen through online fan voting rather than by an eight-person committee.

If the WMMA Press Association continues to handle its voting via the committee approach, it should expand to include a wider variety of WMMA media professionals.

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