Awakening Outstanding Contribution Award

The Awakening Outstanding Contribution Award (AOCA) is our way of highlighting athletes that have played huge roles in raising awareness for female fighters across the globe. Each of these women have different stories and have helped pave the way for those that come after them. The athletes are listed in alphabetical order.

An important figure in Women’s Boxing, during her career Michele helped raise public awareness of female fighters and their ability to become just as technical as their male counterparts. Michele is currently unbeaten and holds a record of 21-0 (12 KO). Michele has not officially retired, but should she do so she would become one of the handful of Boxers to join Rocky Marciano in being an undefeated World Champion.
Michele Aboro Awakening Fighter Profile
Marcela is a high profile Boxing figure who made her debut in a media storm of controversy, by no fault of her own – but due to decisions made by promoters. Effectively, we feel that in the end this controversy has helped raise awareness. This is by no means the only reason Marcela received the AOCA. She has a long and incredible record and has faced some of the worlds toughest opponents. She also made Boxing history by taking part in the first Women’s Boxing Fight to be sanctioned by the Argentine Boxing Commission. Last but not least, as a youngster she became 17 x South American Karate Champion.
Marcela Eliana Acuna Awakening Fighter Profile
Laila is potentially our most contentious awardee of the AOCA, however we stand by our decision firmly. Why is it contentious? Laila has been accused by some of avoiding some fights throughout her Boxing career. Although we do not approve if this is the case, Laila has an impressive record of 24-0 (21 KO). As daughter of Muhammad Ali, her career has been followed and scrutinized by many, but there can be no doubt that her skill, heritage, looks and controversy have helped to bring lots of focus to the female fight scene.
Laila Ali Awakening Fighter Profile
Although Gina had a short-lived fighting career, she ultimately created a platform from which female fighters could spring from. A combination of excellent technique and knockout looks, Gina turned the media world on to Women’s MMA and inspired countless young women into training and competing. Before Gina, the MMA world was uninterested in female competitors – she proved them all wrong and started the snow ball effect. After her short but successful fight career, she was snapped up by Hollywood where she continues to inspire. Gina was a pioneer.
Gina Carano Awakening Fighter Profile
In 1998, Jane was the first officially licensed female Boxer in Britain. Initially she was refused a professional licence by the British Boxing Board of Control on the grounds of being a woman, they claimed PMS made women too unstable. Jane fought back claiming sexual discrimination and ended up getting the decision over turned. This was a historical turning point for British female fighting. In 2007 she was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) by Queen Elizabeth II.
Jane Couch Awakening Fighter Profile
A legendary pioneer of MMA, Megumi holds the longest win streak in WMMA by going 22-0 before suffering her first loss. Once regarded as the pound-for-pound best female fighter in the world, Megumi unbelievably didn’t start MMA until she was 30! A Black Belt in both Judo and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, 19 of her MMA wins have been by her wide array of submission techniques. Competing until she was 39 and continuing to coach afterwards, Megumi has inspired women around the world to pursue success in martial arts from any age, and set the bar for the pinnacle of the sport in her era.
Megumi Fujii Awakening Fighter Profile
One of the most recognized female Boxers in the world, Chevelle has faced some of the very toughest opponents from around the world. Her fight history includes a who’s who of female boxing. However, this is not the reason Chevelle has earned the AOCA, it is for the adversity that her career has battled through. During her early career many Boxing promoters were not willing to include her on their fight cards claiming that her appearance would not sell tickets. Chevelle continued regardless of the opposition and has been one of the greatest assets to the female fight community.
Chevelle Hallback Awakening Fighter Profile
Holly has achieved great success in competing. She is an 18 x World Champion in three different Boxing divisions and is regarded as one of the very best female Boxers of all time. Her career has played a huge part in opening the eyes of those that wrongly consider female Boxers as non-serious, for this she deserved the AOCA. In 2011, Holly made a successful transition into MMA.
Holly Holm Awakening Fighter Profile
A lady that is universally loved around the world and inspires countless fighters both male and female. Julie’s incredible Muay Thai record of 61-9-0 against the world’s toughest opponents has etched her name into the annuls of history as a true great. Fittingly dubbed the ‘The Queen of Muay Thai’, Julie remained humble throughout her career – not only giving female fighters a great name – but Muay Thai in general.
Julie Kitchen Awakening Fighter Profile
A high profile martial artist during the 1990’s, Kathy was inducted into four separate halls of fame. She practices numerous disciplines and is an incredible 8th Degree Black Belt in Kung Fu San Soo. She is most commonly known for her impressive Kickboxing career in which she won five world titles during the early times of female fighter scarcity. In 2009, she came out of retirement to win her MMA debut.
Kathy Long Awakening Fighter Profile
Regarded by many as ‘the most successful and prominent female Boxer in the US’, she is also credited as the woman that legitimized female Boxing. Christy officially retired in August 2012, leaving behind her an incredible record of 49-7-3 (31 KO). She remained unbeaten for 36 fights. Christy’s greatness in all regards helped female Boxing become what it is today.
Christy Martin Awakening Fighter Profile
Debi stands alone in her contribution to the female martial arts community, unlike the others it is not her actual fight career that she is being championed for. She can be considered as one of the first pioneers of Women’s MMA. We felt that Debi deserved the AOCA based on her work within the community. She is founder and owner of the website and clothing brand Fightergirls. The website gave female fighters their first home on the internet, this was a huge contribution to the female fight community.
Debi Pucell Awakening Fighter Profile
Lucia was awarded the AOCA simply for her two incredible fight records, Boxing 17-0 (14 KO) and Kickboxing 36-0 (25 KO). With these fight records Lucia showed the world that women are as capable as their male counterparts in achieving greatness within combat sports. During her career Lucia was considered by many as ‘The Most Dangerous Woman in the World’.
Lucia Rijker Awakening Fighter Profile
Cynthia’s contribution to the female martial arts scene is hard to summarize into a small paragraph, her achievements are unrivalled. She holds six black belts in various disciplines, one of which she is 7th Degree Grand Master. She is a multi-time world champion in Karate, and high level weapons specialist. Named the ‘Queen of martial arts films’ by the community, she has starred in 49 martial arts movies and continues to star in them and now also directs. She has also appeared on the front cover of almost every martial arts magazine around the globe, over 300 of them, inspiring countless young martial artists.
Cynthia Rothrock Awakening Fighter Profile
At 26, Ronda is the youngest martial artists to have been awarded the AOCA. She earned the award for what can only be described as opening up the flood gates for, and representing all the female MMA fighters around the world who struggle to get noticed. The mixture of exciting fight style, great looks and brash mouth firmly put WMMA on the map opening up the eyes of the typical doubting male audience, taking it all the way to the UFC. She continues to add to the building momentum in the global WMMA movement. Finally, let us not forget that this lady is an Olympic Medalist in Judo.
Ronda Rousey Awakening Fighter Profile
One of the true pioneers of women’s MMA, Rosi was fighting competitively back when this sport was still relatively underground. One of the things she’s known for globally is fighting tough opponents, however it is for the work she has done in the UK that has earned her the AOCA. Carving out a career such as Rosi’s in a country that has been somewhat behind the rest of the MMA world is a remarkable feat. Her work ethic and character has inspired countless young hopefuls of the possibilities for women in combat sports.
Rosi Sexton Awakening Fighter Profile


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