USA TODAY: So far, women more than proving their worth in UFC


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

  • 26 days ago
  • 10 views

A look back at that nasty, nasty bloody ear that helped Jessica Eye to a win over Leslie Smith at UFC 181 and much more in the latest Women’s MMA Report.Filed under: Cage Warriors, News, UFC, WSOF read news >>

  • 26 days ago
  • 2 views

Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 57 event forced some small changes to the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA rankings, and main-event winner Frankie Edgar was the most notable mover.Filed under: Bellat read news >>

  • 25 days ago
  • 2 views

Norifumi “KID” Yamamoto (18-6, 1 NC) will return to the UFC for the first time in three years when he steps inside the cage on February 28, 2015 at UFC 184.KID's return was posted on the UFC's Japane read news >>

  • 24 days ago
  • 3 views

On Saturday, December 6, UFC welterweight champion Johny Hendricks defends his title for the first time against the man he won it against, Robbie Lawler... read news >>

  • 19 days ago
  • 14 views

The first time they stepped into the Octagon together, they waged the fight of the year. What does the encore hold? We'll find out Saturday at UFC 181, when Johny Hendricks and Robbie Lawler lock hor read news >>

  • 18 days ago
  • 5 views

When Anthony Pettis steps into the cage for the first time in 15 long months on Saturday at UFC 181, he'll be facing down more than just opponent Gilbert Melendez, the former Strikeforce champion who read news >>

  • 15 days ago
  • 116 views

The first time they met at UFC 171 in Dallas back in March, Johny Hendricks scored a unanimous decision victory over Robbie Lawler to win the welterweight championship. Now, nearly nine full months l read news >>

  • 15 days ago
  • 5 views

Anthony Pettis successfully defended his UFC lightweight title for the first time, submitting Gilbert Melendez with a guillotine in the second round of their UFC 181 bout. Anthony Pettis is well-know read news >>

  • 12 days ago
  • 1 views

Dana White claimed before UFC 181 that Anthony Pettis was among the best pound-for-pound fighters in the sport. While that’s a frequent strategy for the UFC boss, it turns out he was right.Filed unde read news >>

Jump to: