All of these photos tweeted by Showtime Sports feature Strikeforce champion Miesha Tate and contender, Ronda Rousey, fully clothed, but---well, different from how you normally see female fighters posing when they are promoting a fight.
The photos, sent out on Monday, were paving the way for the promotional video sent out on Tuesday (Valentine's Day).
Does marketing female fighters this way work for you? video
From Showtime Sports on Twitter, "Love is in the air, but @MieshaTate & @RondaRousey are NOT feeling it. More pics and exclusive video coming tomorrow!" and "Sexy AND Tough? @MieshaTate & @RondaRousey are both. Stay tuned for some sultry pics from the ladies video shoot!"
Click the links to see the photos on Twitter (I don't have permission to reprint).
@SHOsports tweeted an image of Miesha, standing, wearing a dress, posing with her championship belt, "The @Strikeforce Women's World Champion @MieshaTate. Catch the intimate video/photo shoot THIS WEEK right here! pic.twitter.com/opxAt1XO"
"Wowza a picture really is worth a million words pic.twitter.com/GVstBAUN @MieshaTate # TeamTate", commented Matt Martin on the ponytail stare-down image. "Tapout" magazine's Jennifer Swift, agreed, "I love this pic! # WMMA"
Retired MMA fighter, Frank Shamrock, retweeted, "Would you guess that someone so elegant could send you to the ER with a brutal armbar? @RondaRousey can. pic.twitter.com/KIgQvGeo"
Vincent Tuzzolino tweeted another version of a stare-down, with both women wearing dresses. Apparently, he was speechless because he just tweeted the image without a message. "@MieshaTate @SHOsports # STRIKEFORCE pic.twitter.com/rXgScawp"
Here's another image, tweeted by ShoSports and more what you might expect, "Photog @austinhargrave felt the intensity of @RondaRousey up close. Full gallery of Ronda & @MieshaTate to come. http://pic.twitter.com/JKLEP8ha"
Who are Showtime Sports marketing to?
I have to admit, when I first saw the headless torso of a young woman reclining on a couch (Ronda), I thought something was wrong with the picture. I wrote it off as a mistake (someone probably downloaded the wrong image - how embarrassing) and went about my business.
Later on, when I realized that a second headless torso of a different woman (Miesha) had been tweeted, I went to SHOsports Twitter page to see what was going on. Obviously, I had missed something. Maybe they were playing a weird game of some sort?
Showtime Sports tweeted, "We are just trying to tease the photos we are sending out later. Kind of a guess who, type deal. No disrespect meant."
I noticed a couple of tweets from Ann Gaffigan, who operates a popular blog called, "Women Talk Sports" (WTS), "Now you can't even show her face?" and "Good one. You're proving my point very well. The audience this marketing caters to is full of d-bags."
Ann responded directly to Showtime Sports. "@SHOsports Do you not see the problem with promoting the biggest women's MMA fight since 2009 as 'sexy and sultry'?"
No doubt, these images are causing a lot of heated discussion on WTS.
It's not just looks that can kill...
Actually, after looking at them again, the photos are pretty tame. The stare down picture with both women sporting ponytails is my favorite.
As far as the video goes, if I were a young, fighting woman in my prime, I'd love to make a video like that. Except that I'd want my opponent to disappear in a puff of smoke.
Meanwhile, these two fighters have their focus where it should be: getting ready for the fight.
Ronda: "Enjoy your sleep @MieshaTate .... I'm training."
No response from Miesha. No doubt, she's training too.
Speaking of Valentine's Day...
I suppose these photos are interesting, but I'm actually more intrigued by the Twitter conversation between Ronda Rousey (Honda Housey) and Renato Laranja, "@RondaRousey @Jennifer_SwifT I'm gonna make it up to both of you. What night this week the three of us can get together?"
You might be asking, "who is Renato Laranja?" His Twitter bio says, "If you don't know, you better to ask somebody."
That makes me laugh every time I read it. People tell me that Renato--besides being a black belt BJJ ace who hangs out with Eddie Bravo and the 10th Planet crew-- is also the second "most interesting man in the world".
Sarah Kaufman vs Alexis Davis (headlining the Prelim card on Showtime Extreme)
Both Ronda and Miesha have been training diligently for their fight. By March 3rd, those headless torso photos will be forgotten and everyone's attention will be on the main event - Tate vs. Rousey.
Former Strikeforce champion, Sarah Kaufman vs Alexis Davis is the second female fight scheduled on the same night, but on a different channel. How do they expect us to keep this all straight? Sultry poses. New channels. Female contender--not on the main card--but at least the fight is televised.
You might recognize Alexis as one of the "Picks from Fight Chicks" chicks who make fight predictions regularly with me, Danielle West and Elaina Maxwell, who are also professional MMA fighters.
More from this contributor:
Cheryl Ragsdale started out boxing and has added kicks and BJJ so she can practice MMA. She trains with Keith Florian and UFC Fighter Kenny Florian at Florian Martial Arts - follow @thatgirlisfunny