"I did get to technically invent the 'drive-by' though."
The gladiatorial arena wasn't just a meat grinder for male slaves with rippling abs. In fact, many of the people who participated in history's most notorious blood sport were volunteers -- trained soldiers and politicians looking for a little extra street cred. And, as it turns out, plenty of them were women. Written records of female gladiators are persistent, but sparse, almost as if the Romans didn't think the concept was so bizarre that they needed to specify when the combatants were women.
"Who cares? In the dark, we're all the same!"
"Well, sir, actually ... "
"Shut up and fetch me more wine!"
Lady gladiators weren't the result of some particularly progressive emperor who believed in gender equality in death sports, either. It was quite the opposite -- women's participation was the norm for 200 years, with evidence of various restrictions (no direct female relatives of a general or a senator could be recruited as gladiators, for instance) until Emperor Septimius Severus finally banned it, possibly because he had a cousin or something that got his ass chopped off by Lucretia the Crusher.
So, why haven't you heard about this before now? Well, this serves as a nice example of how this kind of unintentional exclusion works: When archaeologists dug up this statue of a female gladiator, threateningly brandishing some kind of weapon in a victorious warrior pose, they originally described it as "a cleaning tool" -- because cleaning is a thing that women do. And, if you're going to clean something, you might as well do it with the power of Grayskull.