Make no mistake about it, Ronda Rousey is the reason why the women’s division is coming to the UFC.
That’s according to UFC president Dana White, who admits his stance on women’s MMA hadn’t changed much over the last few years until the arrival of Ronda Rousey in Strikeforce.
The way Rousey destroyed the competition and then launched a verbal attack on anyone standing in her way appealed to White, and he knew he had a legitimate star on his hands that could not only hold her own on the microphone, but was as dangerous as anybody inside the cage.
“The reason we have women’s MMA now is because of her. If you’re thinking it’s because she’s attractive, and this and that, and that’s all great, but you hear the way this girl talks? She is a Diaz brother inside,” White said on Thursday.
“None of them have what this one has, she’s nasty, she’s mean. She would actually fight a guy if that was the case, if that was what it takes to get into the UFC, she’d do it.”
White has so much faith in Rousey that when he signed her up to fight in the UFC, he put her under an eight-fight contract.
It’s not often that a fighter will sign a deal for more than three or four fights, but Rousey’s talent and charisma have convinced the UFC to put the money on the table for a long-term deal.
But what happens if Rousey loses in the UFC? Does the women’s division go away?
Well, White says he understands the nature of MMA as well as anybody, and just because Rousey is the best today, doesn’t mean she’ll be the best tomorrow.
“One thing we all know, anything can happen in there. I don’t predict who is going to win and lose anymore,” said White.
If Liz Carmouche is able to get past Rousey at UFC 157, White says they will move forward with her as champion.
There are no guarantees, however, when it comes to the women’s division in the long term or the short term.
“This could last for years; this could last a year,” said White.
Right now the focus is on the positive and that’s Ronda Rousey’s UFC debut coming on Feb. 23 in Anaheim, as she headlines UFC 157 against Liz Carmouche.