Not only does most of the Mixed Martial Arts Nation have their eyes hooked on Ronda Rousey with infatuation, but so does UFC President Dana White. Rousey obviously caught Dana White’s attention during her bout with Miesha Tate. White happened to state almost a year ago that Female MMA did not have enough depth or contenders. He also was quoted saying that a woman just should not be punched in the face and that there was no interest in the sport. Mr. White now seems to be acting as if he is the biggest supporter of the female side of our sport.
Dana’s new reaction to the Invicta Fighting Series and Strikeforce women’s class are definitely saying he’s looking and starting to pay attention. Dana is obviously focusing on Ronda Rousey though in an almost “googly” manner. Maybe he noticed that Ronda is just as tough as the guys and is worthy of competing in the sport we all love. White should however, recognize the other female superstars in MMA. Maybe he noticed that women’s MMA is indeed popular when the servers crashed from over streaming the Incvicta FC 2. White, interviewing with Ariel Helwani, openly admits to not following women’s MMA at all, only knowing of two fighters, Rousey and Tate, and there still not being enough contenders to consider divisions.
We may not have liked Ronda’s way of splashing on the scene, but she did catch the big boss’s attention. He also told Helwani that he plans to attend Ronda’s next fight on Aug 18th. On that same card to show their skills are Sarah Kaufman, Miesha Tate, and Julie Kudzie. These are some prime athletes to stand for the women’s MMA name. Some thought it was unfair that Kaufman was overlooked in the bout against Tate that Ronda Rousey slid right into. Now, Ronda Rousey is bringing the UFC President to the event to see 3 other excellent fighters and to see what it’s really all about. So Sarah Kaufman going up against Ronda Rousey will be Kaufman’s chance to show her true skills in a cage and I hope she has the fight of her life, for herself, and for all women.
Dana White has even gone so far as to wear a screen print T-shirt of Rousey’s ESPN’s naked body issue at the UFC Fox 4 pre-fight weigh-ins hosted by Fox. In the opening segment of a new Showtime Networks Series called, “All access, Ronda Rousey”, Dana White opens with an almost lovesick speech about Ronda. “Everything you need in a fighter, she has, yet she’s a woman and she’s beautiful. The Ronda Rousey package is different than any other package we’ve ever seen. She’s incredibly talented, she’s mean, she’s nasty and she’s dangerous. She’s got the whole package… I will not miss a Ronda Rousey fight ever. I’m a Ronda Rousey fan.”
White also told Helwani in the interview that a women’s division has to bring in money. I think White is noticing that a female division could be promising, but his resolve about enough female contenders is just wrong. There are plenty of contenders, as we can see with the Invicta FC Series, and hopefully out of that even more popularity will grow, leading girls to gyms and training across the country. The problem is these women don’t get publicity to “be known” which seems to be one of the graces of the new Invicta Series. I cannot help but wonder if Dana will now grab a piece of investment since he has his hand in anything else related to MMA.
To end this piece I would like to mention also that there is the fact of gaining a man’s interest at all when he openly admits to not even following women’s MMA. If there is no chance of a UFC Division for women then why is there so much publicity, mostly from the President himself to build Ronda Rousey’s name? I have the feeling something is broiling in the background and we will see Ronda Rousey in the UFC, maybe sooner than later. This is the night, August 18th, to convince White that the Women can bring the publicity and the show. The fight card will be incredible with elite female athletes honorable to make an impression on Dana White. Show us what you got Ladies!
All Access: Ronda Rousey – Episode 1 – SHOWTIME MMA
Dana White: Invicta FC “Is a Great Thing” By: Ariel Helwani