meisha-tate-20.jpg(This story appeared in today’s edition of USA TODAY.)

The first time two women fought in the UFC octagon, it was cause for an all-out media blitz by the world’s largest MMA promotion. The second time felt more like just another fight — only better.

At The Ultimate Fighter 17 Finale in Las Vegas, undefeated bantamweight Cat Zingano (8-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) came from behind to beat former Strikeforce champion Miesha Tate (13-4 MMA, 0-1 UFC) by third-round TKO in easily the most exciting and brutal bout on the 12-fight card.

The UFC deemed Zingano and Tate worthy of $50,000 “Fight of the Night” bonuses, and fans were reminded why female MMA fighters have a reputation for stealing the show in a male-dominated sport.

But now that the UFC’s experiment with women’s MMA is off to such an auspicious start, it’s hard not to wonder why it took so long.

For years UFC President Dana White complained that there wasn’t enough depth in women’s MMA. Then he met current UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey, and her potential to become an instant superstar convinced him that maybe depth wasn’t so important after all.

But as Zingano and Tate demonstrated Saturday, there might be more talent in the women’s division than White realized.

That revelation couldn’t come at a better time for the UFC, which has struggled recently to hold fight cards together through the strain of last-minute injuries and a demanding TV schedule. To keep pace without diluting the quality of its events, the UFC needs a new source of stars.

That’s where the women come in, or at least where they should. Women’s MMA offers the perfect untapped resource.

In the next three months, at least two more women’s bouts are slated for UFC fight cards. If they prove to be anywhere near as exciting as Zingano-Tate, the organization might wish it had booked more of them.

The UFC is a late adopter of women’s MMA. Competitors have been featuring female fights for years, but the UFC was reluctant to get into the business until it seemed all but unavoidable.

Now that female fighters are starting to make their impact felt in the cage, it seems like the UFC needs them as much as they need it.

It took too long for White and the UFC to see the potential in women’s MMA. They have some catching up to do.

For complete coverage of The Ultimate Fighter 17 Finale, stay tuned to the UFC Events section of the site.

(Pictured: Miesha Tate)

view original article >>

Report here if this news is invalid.

Related News

Unbeaten Prospect Phil Hawes Makes Quick Turnaround, Faces Louis Taylor at WSOF 32

  • 28 days ago
  • 41 views

World Series of Fighting announced today that undefeated prospect Phil Hawes will make a quick turnaround and step back in the decagon cage just six weeks after his promotional debut. read news >>

Two UFC Vets to Face Off at Full Metal Dojo: The 37th Chamber

  • 28 days ago
  • 8 views

Two American fighters who have fought inside the famous Octagon will go head to head at Full Metal Dojo: The 37th Chamber in Bangkok. read news >>

UFC Statement on Daniel Omielanczuk

  • 27 days ago
  • 8 views

The UFC organization was notified today that the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency informed Daniel Omielanczuk of a potential Anti-Doping Policy Violation involving Meldonium, a prohibited substance on the Wor read news >>

UFC Statement on Islam Makhachev

  • 27 days ago
  • 2 views

The UFC organization was notified today that the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency has lifted Islam Makhachev’s provisional suspension due to recent WADA statements regarding the handling of Meldonium cases. read news >>

TUF 23 Finale Video Highlights: Andrew Sanchez vs. Khalil Rountree

  • 19 days ago
  • 39 views

Andrew Sanchez and Khalil Rountree fought for the title of The Ultimate Fighter on Friday in the TUF 23 Finale main event at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. read news >>

TUF 23 Finale Video Highlights: Amanda Cooper vs. Tatiana Suarez

  • 19 days ago
  • 70 views

Amanda Cooper and Tatiana Suarez fought for the title of The Ultimate Fighter on Friday at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. Check out the fight highlights. read news >>

Nunes travels hard-fought path to stardom

  • 19 days ago
  • 2 views

UFC 200 headliner Amanda Nunes never had an easy path to glory, but she fought her way - literally and figuratively - to headline the biggest event in UFC history, UFC 200 on July 9, 2016. read news >>

UFC 200 Results: Jose Aldo Decisions Frankie Edgar to Take Interim Title

  • 18 days ago
  • 33 views

Former champions Jose Aldo and Frankie Edgar fought for the interim featherweight title at UFC 200 on Saturday, and the result was the same as their first fight. read news >>

UFC 200 Video Highlights: Julianna Pena Spoils Cat Zingano’s Return

  • 18 days ago
  • 21 views

Women bantamweight contenders Cat Zingano and Julianna Pena fought at UFC 200 to determine who would solidify themselves as a title contender. read news >>

UFC Statement on Brock Lesnar

  • 9 days ago
  • 0 views

The UFC organization was notified today that the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) has informed Brock Lesnar that his in-competition sample collection from July 9, 2016, at UFC 200, has tested read news >>