Stars Of Yesterday:

Jennifer Howe (13-2-0): New fans of mixed martial arts will likely never have heard of Howe, but she was the #1 female fighter in the world for quite some time. From late 1998 to early 2003, Howe went 8-0-0, but struggled to find fights because nearly everyone refused to face her.

Howe made history in her next two fights, as she became the first and only woman to ever knock out Amanda Buckner and the only woman to date to defeat Tara LaRosa. The brief bout with LaRosa, who is now considered to be the second-best female fighter in the world, was one of the most lopsided beatings in women’s MMA history at the time.

However, Howe’s luck ran out in 2004 when she met Roxanne Modafferi and suffered her first career loss. A rematch with Modafferi netted similar results, and Howe was no longer the feared fighter that she once was. Howe competed one more time and scored a 20-second knockout of Jennifer Fields on April 21st, 2005, but gave up fighting in favour of family life with UFC star Jeremy Horn.

 

Laura D’Auguste (8-0-1): D’Auguste originally began training in martial arts to defend herself against an abusive husband, but soon found herself competing amongst the best in the sport of MMA. She never once tasted defeat, and the lone blemish on her record – a Majority Draw against Amanda Buckner in November of 2003 – was put to rest when D’Auguste submitted Buckner in their rematch 11 months later.

D’Auguste also scored wins over Roxanne Modafferi and Megumi Yabushita (twice), then abruptly left the sport in order to spend more time with her new family. Though no longer an active fighter, D’Auguste remains as one of extremely few undefeated female fighters with more than five career fights.

 

Erica Montoya (6-2-0): In addition to competing as a fighter, Montoya also provided commentary for the UFC in the earlier days of the promotion. Between 1999 and 2003, Montoya won six fights in a row, with all but one coming by way of submission.

However, she took a giant step up in competition against Yuka Tsuji at a SmackGIRL event in August of 2004 and lost by submission in the second round. She returned to competition three months later, but dropped a Unanimous Decision to Megumi Fujii and did not fight again.

For the rare few who might have played the terrible UFC: “Sudden Impact” video game back in 2004, you might be aware that Montoya was part of it. Or, you may want to forget that you ever knew that the game existed.

 

Yuuki “Cool Fighter” Kondo (11-5-2): Not to be confused with legendary male fighter Yuki Kondo, the lady Kondo was one of the most famous female fighters in Japan for many years. Following a submission loss to Marloes Coenen in her professional debut in November of 2000, Kondo went 11-2-2 in her next 15 fights before announcing plans to retire in 2004.

SmackGIRL put on a retirement show in Kondo’s honour, which was intended to be her last fight, but after losing by second-round submission to Amanda Buckner, Kondo returned for one more fight on April 30th, 2005, at the aptly-titled SmackGIRL: “Cool Fighter’s Last Stand.” Facing old foe Coenen once again, Kondo was knocked out by a punch early in the second round.

The punch effectively ended the career of one of the more memorable female fighters in Japanese history.

 

 

The women’s division of mixed martial arts is finally beginning to receive the recognition that it deserves. MMARising.com is proud to support the female division of this great sport, and we look forward to many more of the incredible fights that the women have produced thus far.