UFC president Dana White had been mum on the signing, but finally confirmed it when he stopped by Friday’s edition of the The Jim Rome Show to promote Saturday’s UFC 154: St-Pierre vs. Condit event in Montreal.
“It’s official,” declared White. “Ronda Rousey did sign with the UFC.”
White and other officials have remained mum on what happens to Strikeforce moving forward, but the Rousey signing becoming official only bolsters MMAWeekly.com’s report that Strikeforce will likely be closing up shop following it’s January 2013 event, which features all three of its male titleholders.
Reaction to Rousey’s signing has been mixed even before White made it official.
“It’s good for her,” said UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre. “I’m happy for the girls that fight, but me personally, I have a hard time watching the girls fight.
“It’s the way I grew up maybe, the mentality. I’m different. I’m old school, but I have a hard time watching girls fighting.”
Miesha Tate, whom Rousey defeated to win the Strikeforce title, was obviously happy about the signing, as it means she is likely to be fighting in the UFC soon as well, but had some mixed feelings on all the credit being heaped on Rousey for ushering women into the Octagon.
“It’s not just Ronda, it’s not just myself, that’s for sure,” Tate told MMAWeekly.com recently. “If Ronda’s coming over to the UFC, obviously there’s going to be a division around that, it’s not just Ronda. I know Ronda’s getting a lot of the credit and whatnot, but she didn’t have a lot to do with it from the ground up.
“We’re at the top of the mountain now. That’s kind of how I feel anyways, with this accomplishment coming into the UFC. We’ve kind of reached that final goal. But we had to start at the bottom and a lot of the pioneers (are girls like) Tara (LaRosa), Marloes (Coenen), Molly Helsel; the girls that were really fighting back in the day before we were making any kind of money or there was any kind of publicity or much acceptance of it.”
One person that is obviously excited, and finally able to talk about it, is Rousey, herself.
“Okay I admit it…I’m officially a @ufc fighter SO excited! Can’t wait to debut!” Rousey tweeted on Friday. “Let @danawhite know who you want my 1st opponent to be!”
Regardless of how anyone else feels about it now, it’s happening.
White’s confirmation of Ronda Rousey’s UFC signing ushers in a new era for women’s mixed martial arts.
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