Dana White Says Ronda Rousey is the Biggest Star in UFC History, and He’s Probably Right

February 14, 2014
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Ronda Rousey UFC 157 Pre 5-478x270During a media luncheon at the UFC headquarters in Las Vegas on Thursday, UFC president Dana White stated that women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey is the biggest star in the promotion’s history.

“She’s the biggest star we’ve ever had,” he declared, offering no qualifiers.

With past fighters such as Brock Lesnar, or ones that became household names like Chuck Liddell and Georges St-Pierre, at first glance White’s statement may seem inaccurate. To some the comments may even seem outlandish, but the UFC president is probably telling the truth. Rousey may not be as popular among hardcore fans as some other fighters, but her crossover appeal surpasses the others.

“The day the Olympics started, the number one trending was Ronda Rousey. Number one,” said White.

“She signed the movie with The Expendables. Then did Fast and Furious. Fast and Furious signed her up again after that. This movie hasn’t even gone out yet, and they signed her again,” added White. “Then she got a female lead in Entourage. Now Warner Brothers just bought a book for her. Warner Brothers bought a book for her to adapt into a screenplay that’s a Bourne-type character that she will play.”

Several fighters have starred in movies. Quinton “Rampage” Jackson was cast as B.A. Baracus in the 2010 movie version of The A-Team. St-Pierre landed a major role as Batroc the Leaper in Captain American: The Winter Soldier, which is set to hit theaters in April.

“What I always tell these (expletive) guys when they talk about Hollywood. ‘Hollywood, Hollywood.’ When they bring these guys in they don’t pay them jack (expletive) for the movies. They don’t pay them anything to do these movies. They make way more money fighting. She’s getting to a point where her movie money is starting to get close to her (expletive) fight money, already,” said White.

The undefeated Rousey also filmed the eighteenth season of The Ultimate Fighter in 2013.

“No guy that we’ve ever had has broken into movies or made as much money with sponsorship, movies or fighting, like Ronda Rousey has,” said White.

According to White, Rousey will break into the top ten of most money made in the UFC by a fighter following her next fight.

“She’s fought in the UFC twice. She’s going to fight again next weekend. I don’t want to get too ahead of myself here, but I’m going to go out on a limb here, after this fight she’s going to break into the top ten most money made in the (expletive) UFC, after three fights. Her third fight she’s going to break into the top ten,” stated White.

Rousey faces fellow Olympic medalist Sara McMann in the UFC 170 main event at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas on Feb. 22, and White anticipates that she’ll draw high numbers.

“Ronda’s first fight was a (expletive) homerun. Her second fight was a (expletive) homerun, and so will her third fight,” he said.

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  • Mark McDowall

    Wow…really Dana?? So Cotoure, Lidell, Severn, Coleman, Gracie, Hughes and the list goes on and on beyond that aren’t as big as Rousey?? What a joke…I usually defend alot of what Dana says…but this is just down right idiotic!

    • Maddawgmar

      I think he is talking in general. While those names are huge amongst hardcore fans, they are not really huge in mainstream media. Not saying Dana is right, but she is everywhere people who don’t even watch MMA know who she is. Kinda like Gina Carano.

      • toby

        Ronda wouldn’t make a pimple in Gina Corano’s ASS in the Looks or Personality department…..

        • Maddawgmar

          Yet Rousey makes enough money to hire Carano to be her maid.

          • brad king

            She should hire her

          • Rence

            Not gonna lie, that sounds like it would be hot…Just sayin…

    • shawn buckley

      Dana’s 100 percent right she is the biggest star ever so shut your mouth mark mcdick don’t you dare mouth off about this. She’s made movies she will be filming 2 after her fight with Sara next Saturday night she’s no doubt the biggest star in mma history period and I’ve been a die hard mma fan since 2005 and not just a ufc fan so don’t call me an idiot. Ronda is awesome period!

      • Who cares

        Wow since 2005 how old are 18 or 20 you don’t know jack so keep your bullshit opinion to yourself before you attack other fans for there’s prick

      • Mma1

        No…no where near awesome. She is the Royce Garcia of women’s mma. As soon as competition catches up,she’ll fade away.

      • brad king

        She duck cyborg

      • Piotr

        Keep swinging on Dana’s nuts, idiot.

    • james j

      Those guys are not big as Ronda because the sport was not on fire then as it is now.

      • taylor2008

        I always heard people talking about their fights coming up. And today talking about GSP, Jones, Hendricks, Aldo, Velasquez, Cigano and others. I NEVER hear people talk about ROuseys fights.

        • james j

          People are talking about her fights now. Most notably ESPN and news outlets are talking about her fights.

  • Maddawgmar

    Let the butt hurt begin…

  • Timothy Malone

    If you are a pretty face there is alot of money to be made in a testosterone driven sport like MMA

    • Piotr

      Yeah! Let’s have the ring girls fight…in mud!

  • Joel Nunez Luis

    I’m with Dana on this one 100%,with not doubts at all,hands down biggest star on any sport right now,she is the real deal.

    • taylor2008

      Is that you Ronda?

  • Austin, TX

    Then why not put all the women fighters on one card instead of with fights that people actually want to see? Put all the females fighters on one card and see how many people purchase an all womens card?

    The whole thing is manufactured nonsense. Dana just doesnt like to admit people don’t like one of his choices. Hey Dana, its ok man. Your superlatives sometimes tell something else that you weren’t meaning to say I think.

    I almost would have been more enthused if she wasn’t force fed down our throats. It’s nauseating. She’s simply an extension of Dana’s ego. (He picked her.) It’s not even about her.

    p.s. don’t confuse Hollywood bs with calling her “the biggest star ever”. She’s not. If she is then why does practically everybody dislike her?

  • uncle

    Really if the Maia vs Rory gets scrapped nobody would care about Ronda

    • Piotr

      IF? No one cares about Ronda. As much as Dana wants it to be true, it isn’t.

  • Erase this comment

    mma weekly sucks

  • Flat chest

    Mole face rousey

    • Mudd

      Lol is that a mole?? I thought it was a snot!!!

      • horace

        That mole on Rousey’s face has it’s brain.

      • taylor2008

        Its a hunk of chocolate cake she had 2 years ago.

  • jimmy777

    Ronda Rousey is the Biggest Star in UFC History??? BULLCHIT!!!!!!!!!!!!! Not even close, shes a one trick arm bar pony with a Chitty attitude

  • Dragon Kid

    Brock Lesnar could’ve easily taken movie roles but chose not to due to having a private life. Even without movies, everyone knows Brock Lesnar.

    • deepgrim

      thats just dana been dana. we will know in a few weeks time about her star power when the ratings for 170 come in, i think we know there will be a sharp drop with rashad out of the co main event

    • Ol’ Rooter

      Brock who?

      • Dragon Kid

        YOUR MOM!

        • Ol’ Rooter

          Hi Mom!

  • Pat Garret

    The UFC brand ,was built on the blood, and tears of its top fighters. Dana’s the type of boss ,that treats his employees great! When they are producing , soon as they get old, and tired and stop making $$$. They get thrown out like yesterday newspaper.. (Expletive) Ufc and Dana!

  • Stephen Quadros

    GTFO Dana lol

  • brad king

    PPV will be worst in history! Quit making these girls seem bigger than they are. So what noone really gives a s*** bout Rhonda. Dont try to make her something she isnt. ROR dana!

  • http://sixtoedpete.com/ Chuck Rosseel

    Dana White’s statement about Ronda Rousey being the biggest star in UFC history is of course preposterous. Dana’s good at promoting a great organization and brand so I’ll cut him some slack for such hyperbole.

    Ronda’s UFC “experience” amounts to approximately 15 minutes over two fights! Before joining the UFC she fought the majority of her fights (pro and amateur) at 145lbs and higher, her natural fighting weight class. Her judo bouts were at almost 160lbs. Yet Ronda is afraid to fight Cris Cyborg, the World’s best female MMA fighter, at 145.

    I have no interest in watching Rousey “act” in action movies. “Entourage”? That was a good TV show but all fans realize that most of the celebs who appeared on that program just played themselves. It’s great she was offered those “acting” gigs but I doubt Rousey will be starring in any William Shakespeare productions.

    If Ronda loses to Sara McMann; then strings together a few more losses, Hollywood won’t even invite her to audition for “Scream 6″. When that happens, Ronda will just be remembered as the Danica Patrick of the UFC. However that’s not fair to Danica because at least she competes against men.

    • brad king

      Hey

    • UOENO

      Excellent comment, buddy. I agree.

    • Muaythai4life

      Sooo… if she did fight Cyborg she’d be just like Danica Patrick?

      Zing!

  • james j

    I am glad Dana said this. I think Ronda is a tremendous fighter, and I enjoy her fights. As for all the posts about her looks, all I can say is looks make the quality of a fighter? Couture, Liddell, Lesnar and 99% of the male fighters look like hell, but who cares… I am good with Ronda, and I hope she stays around for awhile.

  • DamianCross

    I’m a huge fan of Rhonda Rousey. I’d be an even bigger fan if Dana would shut up.

  • Mihael Hajdin

    Really dana u said a lof of dumn bs over the years but this one takes the cake, lol..

  • brad king

    One day DW will realize that the world is not ready

  • Mudd

    Dana only brags about her because he’s been sleeping with her for years

    • horace

      Dana has bagged Rousey for sure

  • David

    I had trouble reading and processing some of the ridiculous garbage that is the comments below. That is some serious sexism going on there boys. Ronda is kind of a big deal, get over it.

    Never go full retard.

    • taylor2008

      David hate to tell you think but I hear people constantly talking about GSP, Hendricks, Silva, Jones, Aldo, Faber, Velazquez and many others. I NEVER hear anyone talk about the up coming ROusey fights. Its not being sexist what so ever to say she is and will never be in the top 10.

  • jimmy777

    If Brock Lesnar.never had the damn intestinal issue he would have been hard to beat, you could see he was not the same fighter when he came back, his attitude changed and that changed his way of fighting.

    • UOENO

      No way! I almost threw up in my mouth reading that. Are you serious? You can’t be serious.

    • yep

      I agree, definitley a differant fighter, the two times away healing also hurt his development he just never got to train like he should have layoffs were long

  • JDMMA

    ever had? really DW? overboard with “Exaggeration” !!!

  • cwmnedmond

    I can’t wait for Sara to beat this bitches ass. Wrestling>Judo all day every day

  • horace

    Rousey is a star but Rhonda’s arrogance and crude behavior has lost her the fan base. Rousey blew her chance for stardom with her vulgarness and vile behavior.

  • JDMMA

    Ouch @ Chuck Liddell & GSP

  • UOENO

    Dana, just admit RR is the best poontang you ever had. You don’t have to front anymore. RR got that good stuff. I wish I could jump in that. lol

  • Jason Priest

    If Dana thinks Ronda Lousey is his biggest star ever, the UFC is in more trouble than I thought.

  • Wayne Kerr

    Well Dana, if your signing her checks….

    More trivia…. Your the 1st male Dana I’ve heard of.

  • horace

    Let Rousey be the featured attraction then like next week. Rousey is more hated than liked.

  • Piotr

    Remember those “freak show fights” you used to complain about in PRIDE Dana? Now you’re the king of them and Rousey is your queen.

  • horace

    Rousey with her ignorance and arrogance ruined her fan base.

  • horace

    10 years from now Rousey is 200lbs broke and living in a trailer with one of those Armenian dudes with 5 kids running around.

    • james j

      I think quite the opposite. I am betting she is set financially for 2 lifetimes

  • yep

    So herPPV buys are well below the top guys but yet she is the beiggest star? Were is this amazing crossover effect? I dont see it, the only reason she is banking huge that I can tell is the UFC has chosen to pay her more most likely due to spnsorship money they are getting because they make more on GSP and Lesnar then Rousey PPVs
    So good for the UFC but I dont see an unflux of fans.
    Hollywood just seems to like her alot for some crazy reason.
    Im not sure what she brings to movies

  • Robby Clark

    I think the UFC brass is hoping that this translates into more PPV buys. I’d like to see some numbers, because after the Carmouche fight, I don’t remember them being ecstatic or making comments on how many PPV buys she did. Who knows though, maybe the buy ratio significantly jumps up with the female demographic. Personally, I’ve never known many women to purchase PPV sporting events, so if they could manage to attract a new audience with her and it sticks, than good on them.

  • Rafigh Palani

    brock was about 2 times bigger. I doubt she will ever get 1 million buys.

  • taylor2008

    Rousey is a good fighter but not near as big a star as many fighters. To be honest I dont know anyone who is buying this fight. Nor anyone who cares to see Rousey fight.
    She is NOT a bigger draw than people like GSP, Silva, Jones, Velasquez, Lesnar and others. I know scores of people that will watch good fights with any of these fighters but not a one that talks about Rousey or even cares to see her fight.
    This is just Dana trying to sell her fights.

    • taylor2008

      I forgot about people like Couture and Liddell too. When Matt Hughes was champ everyone talked about him too. Rousey is nowhere near most fighters.

  • Jaymo_ie

    Dana stokes up the old promotion train here…Ronda is so far ahead of most women MMA fighters, it reminds me of seeing Royce in the early days just defeating people because he was just so far ahead…She has no legit competition in the UFC IMO.
    She is the first womens champ, looks good, can be a bit of a bad ass so why wouldnt she get attention?? I remember Gina getting the attention a few years back too..
    IMO she will never be bigger than Chuck, Randy, GSP, Anderson, BJ, those guys had amazing fights against amazing fighters. People got so pumped for those fighters and fights. There just isn’t the level of competition in the UFC for Ronda yet to generate that level of interest, no matter what Dana tells us..

  • nick james

    I don’t know one single fan who is planning on ordering this weekends UFC event.

    • macarrech

      I watch UFC events for free on cable because I’m in Latin america, and I don’t think this will be reason enough for staying home Saturday night to see this one. Especially since Rashad step down. Cormier-Rashad was the main event for me.

  • Pearson Crigger

    sad state of the ufc roster if ronda is their biggest star.Hollywood might like her but I don’t think she will ever be as big a ppv star as silva or gsp

  • macarrech

    Dana i so full of s&*t lately. MMA fans are the one buying PPV. I dont think that the casual fans that like to see her in movies or series are going to drop any money to see her fight. Lets see how this event sells now that rashad is out and the whole draw is coming from the Rousey fight.

    • horace

      dana must have a really close relationship with Rhonda? really close

  • horace

    If this weeks UFC fight is sold out and there are record PPV sales then Rousey is a huge star attraction. I don’t see it but the numbers and dollars speak volumes.