During her reign atop the women’s bantamweight division, UFC president Dana White claimed that Ronda Rousey would beat Floyd Mayweather in a street fight. UFC commentator Joe Rogan said that she could compete with men.
They may have been just promoting fights and generating hype, but a lot of people actually believed them.
After Holly Holm toppled Rousey at UFC 193 in devastating fashion, many people came to the realization that no one is invincible and everyone can be beaten.
The reason White famously proclaimed in 2011 that women would never fight in the UFC was because the divisions weren’t deep enough and the lack of top tier talent would lead to mismatches.
He now considers bringing women into the Las Vegas-based fight promotion as the best decision that he’s made, but the landscape of women’s MMA hasn’t changed that much since he made those remarks.
According to featherweight champion Jose Aldo, women’s MMA is in its infancy and simply isn’t on the same level as men’s fighting.
“First of all, what I think, women’s MMA is too new,” he said during a recent media scrum in Rio de Janeiro. “I don’t want to compare, I think Royce [Gracie] was a legend. In his old days he was the best with his jiu-jitsu, so, for me, women’s MMA is that.”
Women’s fighting has become incredibly popular, and there are female fighters out there that are well-rounded athletes, but developing talent takes time,” he continued.
“Ronda was a great champion. I respect her, but I think men’s MMA is at a higher level,” said Aldo. “Male athletes aren’t separated by one martial art only, like I’m a judoka and I only catch arms. There’s no such thing as this one who survives. Athletes have to be good standing and on the ground today. You have to be good wherever the fight goes, and that’s how I try to be.”
The 145-pound champion wasn’t criticizing women’s fighting. He simply doesn’t think it’s evolved to the point that men’s fighting has. Aldo is a fan of women’s MMA. In fact, he prefers to watch it more than he does the men.
“I like to watch women’s MMA more than men fighting because they always do their best in there and fight hard.”
Aldo faces interim champion Conor McGregor in a title unification bout at UFC 194 on Dec. 12 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.