That is the million dollar question, but the simple answer, at least in the near term, is no.
Even with all the attention that Ronda Rousey has brought to the women’s side of the sport with promotional prowess outside the cage that are matched only by her bone crunching abilities inside the cage, it’s not going to be enough.
Still, Rousey seems to think it could happen.
“I think it is a distinct possibility,” Rousey said on UFC Tonight on Tuesday when asked about women fighting in the UFC. “Women are tough. We are clever. We are going to find a way to get anywhere. You can’t stop us.”
She’s probably correct that women will find a way into the Octagon… one day. But whether or not it will happen during Rousey’s career remains to be seen.
The general consensus is that the talent pool on the women’s side of the sport just isn’t currently deep enough to carry the weight of even one long-term competitive division.
“I love the idea (of women fighting in the UFC), but it is not going to happen. Not in the near future anyhow,” said UFC Tonight’s Kenny Florian. “There are not enough high level female fighters in each weight class. UFC is all about building stars up and if they only have one fight and that’s it, they can’t do that.”cia Rijker
UFC president Dana White has long agreed with Florian’s point. In fact, as much as he thinks that Rousey could be one of the best female fighters to ever grace mixed martial arts, he’s not even sure that there are enough high-level opponents to keep the Strikeforce 135-pound champ busy much longer. And that’s just one weight class.
“She’s a rock star,” White said. “She’s been fantastic. She’s been killing it for us. I just hope that we can get some really good fights for her.”
Rousey has a fight coming up in August with Sarah Kaufman. That fight isn’t likely to be an easy one, but should she get past Kaufman, Rousey would cement a spot at the top of the heap.
But if she is successful, what’s next?
“Unfortunately I think (Rousey) is going to be the Lucia Rijker of MMA. She’s the female boxer that was really the best in the world. You heard of Christie Martin and Laila Ali and all these other people, they wouldn’t fight her. Nobody wanted to fight Lucia Rijker. She was sparring with guys. She was probably the best female boxer ever and nobody knows who the hell she is.”
There are really no clear contenders following the Rousey vs. Kaufman fight, other than rematches with the likes of Miesha Tate. That doesn’t really constitute a deep talent pool. And as long as the women are swimming in the shallow end, the UFC isn’t likely to take a chance on them in the Octagon.