In 2011, Ultimate Fighting Championship president Dana White famously said that female fighters would never compete. A decade later, two of the top three matches on the main card for Saturday evening’s pay-per-view event feature female fighters.

The UFC’s popular female mixed martial artists are outliers in a sports industry that pays and promotes male athletes at far higher rates than their female counterparts. But as media studies scholar Jennifer McClearen explains, the platform the UFC gives women shouldn’t distract from the fact that the promotion company ruthlessly exploits all of its fighters, male and female.

This week we also liked articles about the problems Central America faces, the false information that can make it hard to figure out what’s going on and the supportive role that online communities can play in young people’s lives.

Nick Lehr

Arts + Culture Editor

China’s Zhang Weili, on the right, has helped grow the popularity of the UFC in her native country. Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

The rise of female UFC fighters obscures profound exploitation, inequality

Jennifer McClearen, University of Texas at Austin

The UFC is eager to advertise its promotion of female fighters – while also paying them less and stoking a climate of fear to discourage unionization.

Children play in Las Flores village, Comitancillo, Guatemala, home of a 22-year-old migrant murdered in January 2021 on his journey through Mexico. Johan Ordonez/AFP via Getty Images

Money alone can’t fix Central America – or stop migration to US

Luis Guillermo Solis, Florida International University

Biden's $4 billion plan to fight crime, corruption and poverty in Central America is massive. But aid can't build viable democracies if 'predatory elites' won't help their own people.

Sometimes an anonymous online forum is just what a teenager needs. Capuski/E+ via Getty Images

Yes, online communities pose risks for young people, but they are also important sources of support

Benjamin Kaveladze, University of California, Irvine

A significant portion of teenagers' social development happens online. The risks are well known, but the benefits of peer support are often overlooked.