Up until this point Dana White has been dismissive of the prospect of female fighters competing in the UFC, but after watching Ronda Rousey’s latest victory on Saturday night in the Strikeforce cage he appears to finally be coming around to the idea.
During a fan Q&A hosted by Metro PCS yesterday White was asked whether a previously talked about 115lb men’s division or a new woman’s weight class would arrive first in the UFC. His answer raised some eyebrows.
“Either really,” White replied. “I don’t think I’ve been too shy about what I think about Ronda Rousey. She just looked impressive, and not only did she look impressive on Saturday night, her numbers killed it on Showtime, too. Ronda Rousey is a star.
“I don’t know how many of you have Showtime Extreme, but the fight with Miesha Tate was awesome and I am warming up to woman’s MMA.”
In a separate interview on the Dave And Mahoney Radio Show, White went one step further.
This is big news given that White hasn’t had much to say about the female side of the sport in the past, other than to claim that there’s not enough good talent out there to make a credible division that could function in the UFC.
I think that is a legitimate concern – Rousey has already armbarred her way through the majority of credible contenders already in the whirlwind start to her career for example.
On the other hand fighters like Rousey, ‘Cyborg’ Santos, Miesha Tate and Marloes Coenen are talented and all-woman MMA promotion Invicta FC has recently put on two cards filled with entertaining fights which highlights the fact that there are other potential stars out there who could shine on a bigger stage.
It’s all just talk for the moment though so we’ll have to wait and see whether White does actively seek to make this a reality, but even the knowledge that he’s giving it some thought will be a major boost to woman’s mixed martial arts as a whole.