I know many of you viewed the title of this article and instantly had a 100 questions and comments. Well grab your popcorn and let me explain.
Morgan has entered what I call the Alpha-Female category. Over the last 3 years, if Morgan is at the tournament she is the odds on favorite to win the women’s overall grand championship in North America. She is by no means the first female to do this though. Linda Denley, Nicki Carlson-Lee, Regena Thompson and Chelsea Nash are others. Even though they were the favorite, it doesn’t mean that they always won or were not challenged. They had women rise to challenge their status atop the mountain.
Denley had Arlene Limas and Chavela Aaron. Carlson-Lee had Dottie White; Thompson had Claire Cocozza. Nash had Morgan Plowden.
Each one of these women were challenged and beaten by other female fighters. They knew in order to maintain their number one status they had to push themselves to become better because some one was hungry and itching to knock them off that mountain top.
Linda is the bar that all other females are measured. Female fighting in the late 70s and early 80s was Denleyland. She dominated! She was the female fighter that everyone wanted to watch and beat. She suffered only one loss until a young 15 year old rookie by the name of Arlene Limas came on the scene. Limas was a young hungry fighter who was determined to win. She pushed herself and in the process pushed Denley. In the late 80’s, a new female fighter emerged, Chavela Aaron. Chavela eventually took over the women’s division in the late 80’s and became the best female fighter.
Nicki Carlson-Lee’s dominate reign in the 90s rivals Linda Denley’s. She has won the most Diamond rings (8) of any female fighter. Carlson-Lee won at least 7 grand championships in 1998 and won 9 grand championships in 2000. Her legendary kicking ability put fear in females before they stepped into the ring. Well, almost everyone, enter Dottie White. Dottie’s will to win is legendary. When Carlson-Lee took time off in 1999, Dottie White won NShe didn’t have Carlson-Lee’s or Arlenes kicking ability but if she punched you, you felt it. With a hungry fighter like Dottie White lurking Carlson-Lee had to stay on her toes and push herself and not be complacent. The battles Nicki had with Dottie put many male fights to shame.
Regena Thompson dominated the NBL in the late 90’s to well… now. A different style of fighter from Linda Denley(hard hitting and defense) and Nicki Carlson-Lee (kicks). Regena was/is a smooth spacing and timing fighter. She would hit her opponents while they were still thinking about what technique they wanted to do. That is, all except Claire Cocozza. Claires long front leg kept opponents at bay while simultaneously lulling them to sleep and then… WHAM! Kick to the noggin. Claire and Regena had many great battles for grand championships each claiming their fair share. In order to beat one another they both push themselves and improve in order to become a better fighter. Regena had as well hone her angles and fakes to disrupt Claire’s front leg.
Now let’s, Fast forward to a more recent, yet disappointing rivalry, Chelsea Nash vs Morgan Plowden. Chelsea was the Queen from 2009 to 2012 reigning a top the female fighting mountain. Chelsea continuously won overall grand championships. On many occasions she beat Morgan en route to these championships.
This constant losing forced Morgan to evolve from the “kick, kick follow up with punches” style of fighting to the complete fighter you see today. During the 2013 season, Morgan began to beat Chelsea. This evolution set-up a competitive rivalry we haven’t seen in 25 years. This rivalry had late shots, smack talk and a genuine desire to beat the other. This could have been a legendary rivalry. They are the same age, live within 4 hours of each other, each have great skills, a desire to be number 1, JPM/All-stars vs Impex, black vs white and USA vs CAN. This rivalry had every angle covered.
Unfortunately, in 2014 Chelsea suffered an injury while training and it forced her to retire early, ending this rivalry. Now Morgan is a top the North American mountain all alone. In order for Morgan to become better she needs a “Vegeta” (Yes! A Dragon Ball Z reference). For the uninitiated, Vegeta is a fighter who is constantly trying to beat Goku in Dragon Ball Z. Vegeta pushes himself to get better so he can beat Goku, which in turn pushes Goku to improve in order to stay ahead of Vegeta. Vegeta wants to be the best, but for that to happen he has to beat Goku.
Morgan needs a Vegeta or a Goku. She needs someone who is so hungry and wants to beat her so bad, that Morgan has to improve and can’t relax. When this happens, we will truly see outstanding female fights that we have not seen in a long time. So who are the women that can become Morgan’s Vegeta/Goku?
Melanie Ortiz showed a lot of determination at the AKA grand nationals last month. Melanie applied pressure with her front leg not allowing Morgan to get comfortable.
Luisa Gullotti is the 2013 WAKO -60kg world champion has great timing, spacing, footwork and is fearless. Unfortunately, the frequency with which Morgan and Luisa will fight is low.
Verona Soliman and Morgan are teammates but that doesn't mean teammates can't have a rivalry. Being teammates increases familiarity and familiarity makes it difficult to consistently beat one another.
2015 was a big year for Evelyn Neyens. She dethroned Luisa for the WAKO -60kg world title and won the 2015 Irish Open.
Gina Thornton is in the position that Morgan was in back in 2011 with Chelsea. Gina has won major national grand championships but has yet to win won over Morgan. She is in position to challenge for the number one spot this year.
Bev Sturzaker is arguably the top female fighter in Europe. This past October, Morgan and Bev competed against each other twice at the Bristol Open each winning one time.
Elyse Gorrell is one of Canada's top female fighters. Every time Morgan and her meet it's a fight to the finish.