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Watch > Episode > Rosi Sexton - Trailblazing A Path In Women's Mixed Martial Arts

Rosi Sexton - Trailblazing A Path In Women's Mixed Martial Arts


Rosi Sexton is a pioneer in women’s mixed martial arts, whose efforts have already left an indelible mark on the sport with her trailblazing career, exemplary skills, and contributions to its growth.

Born on July 11, 1977 in Manchester, England, Sexton’s journey from a successful academic career to becoming a professional fighter is a testament to her determination and passion for martial arts.

In this episode, Rosi, the first British female to ever fight in the UFC, drops by London Real to talk about the phone call she received three months ago that changed her life, her thoughts on our desires to want our female fighters to be “sexy”, and why when she’s fighting, she believes that if she’s not unconscious, then there’s not a problem.

Rosi Sexton’s journey into MMA is unconventional, beginning with her pursuit of higher education. She holds a Ph.D. in theoretical computer science and worked as a research scientist before transitioning to a full-time career in martial arts. Sexton’s foray into combat sports started with Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and later evolved to encompass a variety of disciplines, including kickboxing and wrestling.

Rosi Sexton entered the MMA scene at a time when women’s participation in the sport was still gaining recognition. She quickly established herself as a formidable competitor, breaking barriers and inspiring future generations of female fighters. Sexton’s dedication to her craft, coupled with her technical prowess, contributed to the growing legitimacy and acceptance of women’s MMA on a global scale.

Sexton’s early success in her MMA career came under the banner of Cage Warriors, a prominent European MMA promotion. In 2010, she achieved a significant milestone by becoming the Cage Warriors Women’s Bantamweight Champion. Sexton’s well-rounded skill set, combining striking and grappling, set her apart as a dominant force in the division.

In 2013, Rosi Sexton made history by becoming the first British woman to compete in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), the premier organisation in MMA. Her UFC debut took place in Winnipeg, Canada, where she faced Alexis Davis. Despite facing tough competition, Sexton’s resilience and technical abilities garnered respect and solidified her place as a trailblazer in the sport.

What sets Rosi Sexton apart is her proficiency in multiple martial arts disciplines. With a black belt in BJJ, a solid foundation in kickboxing, and a comprehensive understanding of wrestling, Sexton epitomises the modern mixed martial artist. Her ability to seamlessly transition between striking and grappling has been a key factor in her success inside the cage.

Rosi Sexton’s influence extends beyond her individual accomplishments. As a pioneer in women’s MMA, she played a pivotal role in challenging stereotypes and advocating for greater opportunities for female fighters. Sexton’s success helped break down barriers, paving the way for increased visibility and recognition of women in the sport.

Rosi Sexton’s journey from academia to the pinnacle of women’s mixed martial arts exemplifies resilience, skill, and a pioneering spirit. Her contributions to the sport have transcended the boundaries of competition, influencing the perception and opportunities for women in MMA. As a trailblazer, Rosi Sexton’s legacy continues to inspire aspiring fighters and fans alike, leaving an enduring mark on the rich tapestry of mixed martial arts history.


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