The Ronda Rousey Era Begins This Weekend At UFC 157
There was a time when UFC President Dana White treated Women’s MMA like a long lost sister whom you haven’t seen in 30 years and absolutely do not want disrupting your family. He routinely dismissed the idea that females fighting in the UFC were a necessity. The talent pool wasn’t deep enough or something like that. Maybe he just didn’t find them entertaining for whatever reason. But then Ronda Rousey arrived and everything changed.
Six fights, six armbars, six first round finishes.
Oh yeah, she’s easy on the eyes too.
White ain’t no dummy. Rather than continue to wave off the scent of Women’s MMA, his nostrils were wide open to Rousey’s fragrance. Surely, dollar signs rolled through his head as he watched Rousey routinely dispatch of opponents as she claimed the Strikeforce Women’s Bantamweight Championship. So White did what any smart businessman would do with a huge star in the making: he scooped her up and put her on the center stage in the main event at UFC 157 against Liz Carmouche. It will be the first time a woman has headlined a UFC card. We’re sure it won’t be the last…unless she loses.
But never mind that. Rousey’s ascent through the MMA ranks and into mainstream America has been of the jaw dropping variety. It’s no secret that her sharp tongue, devilishly good looks and ability to snap a limb in her sleep has made everyone a watcher. Some may still roll their eyes at Women’s MMA but you can’t dismiss what Rousey brings to the table. She’s a refreshing personality in a sport that is dying for guys to become more personable and less machine like. All she has to do to further her advancement into the unknown waters of the UFC women’s division is win on Saturday.
But Liz Carmouche isn’t just going to roll over and allow Rousey to rip her arm off. Yes, Carmouche is an afterthought in a fight that hasn’t even happened yet, but so was Buster Douglas when he fought Mike Tyson. Anything can happen, and if Carmouche can pull off the huge upset, there will surely be a massive story to build while it is likely that the Women’s MMA balloon will be popped for the time being.
Either way, what transpires Saturday night in Anaheim will set the tone for women in the sport on a grand stage. Mainstream media outlets have come out in droves to cover Rousey, and the UFC has got to enjoy the attention it gets from publications that still look at MMA as two guys humping each other for 15 minutes. Apparently, two girls humping each other has more appeal.
As for Rousey, she seems to take all of this media attention in stride. She has work to do Saturday and doesn’t appear to be the least bit distracted.
“It’s fun, but I’m going to sit back and enjoy it after I win,” Rousey said to USA Today. “I was expecting it to be a chaotic, circus kind of thing. It met those expectations and a little bit more, but there’s no amount of media, there’s no loss of sleep, there’s nothing that can really save Liz Carmouche from losing to me.”