The Ultimate Fighting Championship’s president, Dana White, wasn’t initially keen on the idea of women fighting in the promotion, but he’s gradually warmed up to the idea over time.
After being a strictly boys club for almost 20 years, the UFC has finally signed its first female MMA fighter, Strikeforce women’s bantamweight champion, Ronda Rousey.
TMZ broke the news, but it’s yet to be officially confirmed by the UFC.
“Ronda Rousey just made MMA history … becoming the very first female fighter to join the UFC,” TMZ reported. “Rousey — a former U.S. Olympian — has officially joined Dana White’s MMA organization … and automatically becomes the 135 lb women’s champion. … We’re told 25-year-old Ronda will defend her title in 2013 — possible opponents include Sara McMann, Cris Cyborg and rival Miesha Tate.”
Given the fact White and Rousey have been seen a lot together recently, her addition to the UFC’s ranks shouldn’t be a surprise to many MMA fans.
Ronda Rousey has established herself as the top female bantamweight MMA fighter in the world, winning her first six professional fights via armbar in the opening rounds. Factor in the fact Rousey also won her three amateur bouts via first round armbars, and it’s hard to deny the fact “Rowdy” is arguably the most dominant female fighter in the history of MMA.
Rousey is a few levels above most female MMA fighters around, so it’ll be interesting to see who the UFC decides to match her up against for the first female fight in its history.
Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos — who is currently serving a one-year suspension for steroid use — seems to be the only real threat to Rousey’s reign right now, and I personally would like to see the two square up sooner rather than later. Cyborg is a well-rounded MMA fighter, and she’ll give Rousey a tougher test than any of her previous opponents.
Unfortunately, asking Cyborg to drop down to the bantamweight division is a tall order, so UFC matchmakers will have their work cut out for them.
David is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and boxing practitioner who has watched and studied MMA for the past 9 years. Send him your questions @davidkingwriter.