Dana White: “Ronda Rousey is What It Took to Get Women in the UFC”


Ronda Rousey UFC 157Women’s mixed martial arts didn’t begin when Ronda Rousey made her professional fighting debut in 2011, but she’s responsible for women being featured on mixed martial arts’ biggest stage, the UFC.

Organizations like HOOKnSHOOT were pioneers in featuring women’s fighting on their cards, hosting all-women’s events a decade ago. Other promotions followed, but women’s MMA didn’t generate widespread attention until the arrival of Gina Carano in Strikeforce in 2006. She headlined cards in Strikeforce and ElitXC, but women were no closer to fighting in the UFC than they were when Tara LaRosa made her professional debut against the late Shelby Walker in 2002.

UFC president Dana White said that women would never fight under the UFC banner, but that all changed when he met Ronda Rousey.

Rousey had recently defeated Miesha Tate to win the Strikeforce women’s bantamweight title and defended it against Sarah Kaufman. In November 2012, Rousey became the first female fighter signed by the organization and was named the first UFC women’s bantamweight champion upon her arrival.

Rousey, along with Liz Carmouche, made history in February by becoming the first women to fight in the famed UFC Octagon. Rousey has become one of the most popular fighters on the UFC roster.

Her popularity garnered her a coaching slot on the reality series The Ultimate Fighter opposite her Strikeforce rival Tate, but viewers have had a mixed response to Rousey since the season began airing in September.

“It’s not the way she’s portrayed herself. It’s who she is. It’s why women fight in the UFC because of her,” said White following UFC Fight Night 32 on Nov. 9. “I could care less if you don’t like her or like her. It doesn’t matter to me. She’s the world champion and she’s badass and she goes out to win.

“I wouldn’t have done it without Ronda,” said the UFC president about brining women into the organization. “You could line up all the greatest girls on Earth from here to (expletive) Pluto, and she’s the one that when I met her I said, this chick is insanely competitive and just a different animal. And she’s what it took to get women in the UFC.”

When Carano was headlining events on CBS and Showtime, White didn’t even consider offering her a contract. It took Rousey to break down that barrier.

“Hate her or not, the reason why all these girls fight in the UFC is because of her,” said White. “Ronda Rousey is a different animal. She’s a different animal. I’m telling you, and I know her a lot better than all of you do.”

view original article >>
Report here if this news is invalid.

Related News

  • 14 days ago
  • 7 views

The South by Southwest (SXSW) Interactive and Film Festival, which goes down from March 13-15 in Austin, Texas, just added a little bit of mixed martial arts (MMA) flavor to its already star-studded read news >>

  • 8 days ago
  • 123 views

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) President Dana White was less-than-sympathetic for Ben Henderson, who dropped a controversial unanimous decision to Donald Cerrone last Sunday night (Jan. 18, 201 read news >>

  • 5 days ago
  • 692 views

What's this? Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) women's bantamweight titleholder Ronda Rousey getting some love from the boxing community? Believe it. While "Rowdy" has been disrespected in the pas read news >>

  • 28 days ago
  • 23 views

UFC President Dana White is still holding out hope that two of the organization’s biggest pay-per-view stars will return to the octagon in 2015.Filed under: News read news >>

  • 28 days ago
  • 122 views

UFC president Dana White on Tuesday weighed in on Jones vs. Cormier, and also admitted he is hopeful for Georges St-Pierre and Brock Lesnar returns. read news >>

  • 27 days ago
  • 71 views

LAS VEGAS -- UFC president Dana White kept a close eye on Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier during the staredown portion of UFC 182 media day Thursday evening in Las Vegas. read news >>

  • 27 days ago
  • 8 views

LAS VEGAS — The Ultimate Fighting Champion has abandoned the plans it once had for an in-house drug testing program that would see all of its contracted fighters tested randomly year-round. UFC presi read news >>

  • 26 days ago
  • 6 views

UFC President today confirmed what Rory MacDonald wanted to avoid. The welterweight standout has to wait his turn. read news >>

  • 26 days ago
  • 52 views

On Thursday UFC President Dana White confirmed outspoken featherweight contender Conor McGregor is one win away from a title shot. Soon after, the division’s reigning champ, Jose Aldo, posted this ph read news >>