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Dana White admits newest division is “the Ronda Rousey show”

UFC President Dana White has never shied away from expressing his opinion or speaking openly when the more politically correct approach might dictate another approach. As such, when asked for his mindset regarding the UFC introducing a women’s bantamweight division headed by Ronda Rousey, White made it clear the future of the endeavor rested squarely on the shoulders of “Rowdy” Ronda.

“I’m putting my toe in the water and I’m checking it out,” said White of the new 135-pound pool in an interview with MMAFighting, admitting Rousey was the driving force behind the organization’s decision. “For people who say, ‘This is the Ronda Rous-…’….f*ckin right it is. You’re absolutely right. I’m not trying to shy away from that…this is the Ronda Rousey show”

“I don’t know how long this is gonna last. This could last a year, this could be forever. The 135-pound division could fill up with tons of talent and we could have tons of great fights. I can’t honestly sit here and predict what’s gonna happen. But don’t kid yourself. The only reason this is happening is because of Ronda Rousey,” White concluded.

Rousey’s rise to fame has been one of the fastest in MMA history. The 6-0 Olympic medalist made her professional debut in March 2011, winning by way of an Armbar in the fight’s first frame. She followed the victory up with five more triumphs involving the same round and technique.

The 25-year old is poised to be unveiled in the Octagon on February 23 at UFC 157 where she will defend her UFC title against Liz Carmouche.


  • AlphaOmega says:

    Which is why I’m saying if she loses, they are done with it, I could be wrong, but we’ll just have to wait and see.

  • qat says:

    Depends on how she loses i think, if she gets dominated, its pretty much over i guess. Even though i kinda dont believe they would scrap it right away after crowning a new champion. But main-event? Dont think so.

  • hindsightufuk says:

    mmm, main event is a bit of a stretch, i’m sure they wouldnt even be bothering if Sarah Kaufman had beat Ronda last time. Harsh to say but unfortunately this is the Zuffa way.
    Heard someone mention recently that Gina Carano has expressed an interest in fighting again, no reference to UFC i believe, but my thought was she’ll be lucky to cut to 185 these days. big bitch she is, thick as shit too.
    i like womens mma, and i think it is almost perfect for Fox or Fuel main card, maybe even main event worthy. But i cant help think that sticking it on PPV is tantamount to exploitation; pay to watch pretty women fighting

  • Richard Stabone says:

    By immediately making Ronda the headliner of a PPV event, they’re not trying to grow/establish WMMA. They’re simply striking while the iron is hot… Ronda managed to gain mainstream media attention–doing naked spreads in ESPN mag, popping up on TMZ, etc.–so as a promoter DW has to milk this opportunity for every $$ he can before the bubble bursts….sorta like Kimbo in the eliteXC days.

    More than likely will be very short-lived, but money to be made in the meantime.

  • MCM says:

    I don’t normally agree with Richard, but when I do, it’s because he makes salient points like this.

    I think that the UFC will keep WMMA around even if Rhonda loses, as long as it’s an entertaining bout. That’s why I don’t see them letting Cyborg take a swing at her anytime soon.

  • THEGUNNER says:

    I havr a chance to go to this event live and ill pass if they gonna fill the card around ronda rousy as.the show.

  • Sumoninja says:

    I think the “grow the sport” vs the “promote questionable fights/fighters because they’ll make money” arguement is silly. The UFC has never been shy about the fact that it does BOTH. They ARE growing the sport. They allow the real fighters to have a venue within which they can showcase their talent. They also attempt to hype it up as much as possible to sell tickets and PPVs, and are also not shy about putting on sideshow fights within the weight limitations. I’d rather not have the hype and sideshow side of things be present, but it is was it is. There are commercials on TV too, when all people really want is to watch the show they tuned in to. Bills have to be paid.
    Having said that, I don’t think Rhonda Rousey is a sideshow fighter or in any way could be compared to Kimbo Slice. She’s elite at what she does, and while a male fighter with her skillset would likely get crushed in the UFC mens divisions, the truth is the female fight game isn’t there yet. She’s exciting, she is elite at an aspect of martial arts, she sells tickets, and she’s undefeated. How is that not worth promoting, and how is promoting that on the world’s biggest MMA stage not growing the sport?

  • Richard Stabone says:

    Commercials don’t affect the way a pro sports league conducts its business, or threaten the legitimacy of the sport itself. But he UFC’s money-grab maneuvering of late certainly does. We are looking at upcoming title fights in 3 separate divisions where each will include a challenger coming off a loss. And now with WMMA… giving WMMA a platform is one thing; immediately shoving Ronda into a PPV headliner is complete overkill.

    And once her bubble bursts, does anyone think DW is going to spend any real energy trying to grow/promote WMMA? Of course not. This is just another money-grab. That’s the point.


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