Ronda Rousey Gets More Media Attention Than Any UFC Fighter Ever – Dana White

February 21, 2013
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Ronda Rousey UFC 157 prepress A“This is without a doubt, the most media attention we’ve ever had leading up to a fight. And when I talk about media attention, I’m talking about big time media.”

Those were the words of UFC president Dana White, referring to Ronda Rousey, as he opened the UFC 157 pre-fight press conference in Anaheim, Calif., on Thursday. That’s no minor statement considering the kind of attention that welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre and middleweight champion Anderson Silva attract, not to mention the splash that WWE crossover star Brock Lesnar made when he jumped to the UFC.

“She blows (Brock Lesnar) out of the water,” said White. “No fighter has ever fought in the UFC that has had more attention than she has. It’s a fact.”

Even before she was donned the UFC women’s bantamweight champion, Rousey was garnering media attention that evades most fighters. She made an appearance on the Conan O’Brien show while she was still the Strikeforce champ.

Once Rousey was named UFC women’s bantamweight champion and the UFC 157 headlining bout with Liz Carmouche was set, the media came out of the woodwork to cover the former Olympic medalist.

Even White, who has been accused of conducting the Ronda Rousey hype train, says he was surprised by the amount and type of attention that Rousey has drawn.

“I didn’t think that HBO and Time Magazine and all these other outlets that never cover us would. And if they did, I didn’t think it was gonna be positive,” White commented. “I thought it was gonna be freak show. Nobody pulled the freak show card. Nobody has really smashed the main event on this card. It’s been pretty cool.”

That type of attention usually translates into financial rewards as well, and White says that it is translating. UFC 157 has yet to sell out, but he stated that most of the available tickets are in the cheap seats and declared “this is gonna sell out.”

“This gate beat the last gate when we were here (at the Honda Center),” said White, “which was the heavyweight championship between Cain Velasquez and Junior dos Santos.”

Velasquez vs. dos Santos headlined UFC on Fox 1 in November of 2011, drawing an attendance of 11,607 for a live gate of $1.1 million. That of course, was an event televised on free TV, but it’s not insignificant that Rousey vs. Carmouche has already surpassed a $1.1 million gate, especially considering the skepticism of many critics.

A strong live gate, in turn, is usually indicative of solid pay-per-view numbers as well. The UFC doesn’t release those numbers; so it’s a little more difficult to gauge success on that front, although White insists the pay-per-view numbers are “trending very well.”

The one absolute to take away for now, however, is that without ever setting foot in the Octagon, Ronda Rousey is already one of the UFC’s brightest stars.

“I think Lucia Rijker said it best. In any sport, there’s a couple people that really stand out and become big stars,” said White. “And that’s true in this sport or any other sport, and (Ronda) has definitely been that person.”

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  • Overeems Left Bicep

    Ok, we get it Dana. You want to bang Ronda. I think we are all a little sick and tired of hearing you sing her praises.

    • Cuntlick

      Yea Dana is hyping the s*** out of her, he’s gonna tap it!

    • RondaKenPish

      This is ridiculous. Dana is hyping up Ronda so much.

      • Michael Bautista

        Is he really though? think carefully about what he is stating. There’s empirical proof it’s true. Brock Lesnar despite all the fame/hype he garnered while in the WWE never really got the mainstream media attention, Ronda is getting. Did Brock ever make the cover of ESPN magazine? Did HBO do a piece on him? and I’m a hardcore Brock Lesnar fan.

        • sdelfin

          Dana is hyping her so much. And Rousey is getting a lot of media attention right now. All true. But the media coverage is no different from Gina Carano. It’s all because there’s a pretty girl who fights. Brock brought the PPV buys which is what really matters. Rousey may bring a few buys for this show, but I don’t see her staying a major draw once people get used to women fighting and also because there is still little depth in the division.

          • Michael Bautista

            In actuality the UFC isn’t hyping her more so than any, it just appears that way. The UFC/Dana White didn’t ask CNN, HBO, Sport Illustrated, Esquire, etc. to do pieces on her. They took the initiative to cover her.

          • Michael Bautista

            “I don’t see her staying a major draw once people get used to women fighting.”

            what difference does it really make? Other than the obvious, a fight is a fight. I’ll tell you what will effect her ability to draw, if she starts losing but until then, time will tell.

          • Michael Bautista

            I also respectfully disagree with the comparison to Gina Carano, yes, Carano and Cyborg showed what the marketing potential of Women’s MMA could be but Rousey put it over the top. Cyborg/Carano got a ton of pub but not the kind that Rousey/Carmouche did.

    • migo

      Dana already banged Ronda that’s why shes his little princess , hope she gets humiliated by carmouch tonight.

  • this is why I hope she gets beaten…

    • Martin Boquist Bruteig

      Ronda has the X factor, carisma and charm that can harm. Why on earth do you wish her to loose?

      And she finishes fights, you have to be a moron if you dont like her or womens MMA cause shes a female.

  • jim

    I hope she wins just to piss off george anderson and overeems left bicep!!

  • diazfan209

    I’m going out on a limb, Ronda defeats Carmouche by armbar

  • Rence

    While i do see Ronda winning, IF Liz pulls off a win, i will not be surprised. She took the Coenen fight on short notice and while she lost she took it to the Champ for a good part of that fight.

    This fight has serious potential. Olympic Medalist vs US Marine. To be either of those you have to be the type of person that just will not give up for any reason. Put those two in a cage and its got potential to be an amazing fight. Personally, i cant wait!

  • jo


  • jrcr_15

    Does it bother anyone else that she was given the UFC women’s title?

  • Timothy Malone

    This is just sad for the sport.

  • alhmiel

    Hopefully Rousey gets beat. too big a mouth that needs shut. but the dyke isn’t the one to do it.

  • alhmiel

    Rousey needs that wart removed from under her left eye.

  • Michael Bautista

    I think sometimes we MMA fans forget we’re in a bubble and that most of the outside world doesn’t follow our “heroes” the way we do, fact of the matter is, when we all thought Tito Ortiz or even Chuck Liddell were the biggest stars on the planet, there were average (believe it or not) people who couldn’t pick them out of a line up.

  • Kaution

    I seriously hope Carmouche makes more than $8K for all this is worth. Regardless of how you look at it; male or female the fact remains she’s still a trained professional athlete and we as true fans need to remember alot of those that entertain us can barely survive at doing this sport. And if WMMA is a plus for the sport and Ronda helps not just WMMA but MMA on the whole it’s well worth hearing her friggn babble.

    FMOT: Fanview_MMA


  • TKDguy

    Dana is hyping her, and this fight, because it’s good business.

  • Mike Little

    It’s a good day when the main event fighter is hotter than the ring girls.

  • wade

    Ronda only made those covers because she’s hot and the first UFC women’s champ. once this fight is over and this whole history in the making s*** dies down so will she. and yea dana is hyping her up so much its crazy. and he’s is probably hitting it.

  • migo

    Danais a little prick first he was on Brocks balls when we as in the ufc now that Brock retired because of overriods hes on Ronda’s banwagon. hope ronda looses tonight