UFC president Dana White, for a long time, was resistant to women’s MMA in the Octagon. Those days are now long gone, however, as the UFC on Thursday made its first women’s title bout official, announcing Ronda Rousey vs. Liz Carmouche as the headliner for UFC 157 on Feb. 23 at the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif.
Henderson is now officially on the UFC 157 fight card to face Lyoto Machida in a light heavyweight showdown. The winner of the fight moves a step closer to vying for the UFC light heavyweight championship, although Alexander Gustafsson, unless he takes and loses a fight first, is already said to be next in line to challenge the winner of Jon Jones vs. Chael Sonnen.
The promotion also firmed up the previously reported bantamweight rematch between former WEC champion Urijah Faber and Ivan Menjivar.
All the focus, however, is on Rousey making waves and forcing White’s hand to make the move on women’s MMA.
“Ronda is the real deal,” said White on Thursday. “She’s nasty. She’s mean. She’s like Chuck Liddell. She goes out there and tries to finish her opponents. And Carmouche is tough as nails, too. She was a Marine and she’s got great ground-and-pound. I look forward to having the women join the UFC.”
Tickets for UFC 157: Rousey vs. Carmouche go on sale to the general public at 10 a.m. PT on Friday, Dec. 21.