Amidst all the UFC 154 talk and Anderson Silva vs. GSP superfight speculation, UFC President Dana White took some time to discuss the UFC’s newest superstar, Ronda Rousey. The good news is that White says Ronda is now officially the UFC’s first female world champion, at 135 pounds.
Just as when the UFC absorbed WEC fighters after dissolving the organization and champions from divisions that previously had not existed in the UFC automatically became champs in their new homes, Ronda’s Strikeforce belt will be turned into a brand spanking new one. This is what happened with Dominick Cruz and Jose Aldo and now Rousey makes more history as the first ever female UFC champ.
The bad news, according to MMA Junkie that has the story from Montreal, is that right now White only has plans to have one female weight division – Ronda’s 135 pound one. Is anyone even thinking of poor, suspended and stripped former champion Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos?
The former Strikeforce 145 pound champ recently announced that her crack team of doctors said it would be utterly impossible for her to safely move down a weight class. Surely they considered the possibility of Santos cycling her steroid usage differently in order to become slightly less muscle-bound and, thus, lighter in coming up with their opinions.
In any case, White doesn’t seem to be buying Santos’ public stance that, A. she does want to fight Rousey and B. that there is no way she could safely drop ten pounds. White only has plans for a 135 pound female division and if ‘Cyborg’ wants in the UFC she’ll have to drop down to there.
“We’re bringing in the 135-pound division,” White said. “I’m trying this whole women’s thing out. Obviously, Ronda is the champ. I think Ronda has the potential to be a big star. She’s already getting media that we’ve never even gotten before, and she’s never even set foot in the UFC yet. That’s the division that we’re bringing in. We’re bringing in the 135-pound division.”
Uncle Dana also clearly thinks that the mean lady who took Gina Carano away from us is scared of Rousey, homie. “Our matchmakers have talked to their camp, and she doesn’t seem too excited to fight Ronda,” White said.
The scale of the opportunities for Rousey and whoever she fights could be huge, though, according to White. He said that the plan is for Rousey to headline a pay per view in her first UFC fight.
Also, he’s open to the idea of Rousey and another female fighter coaching (male) fighters on a season of The Ultimate Fighter. That’s cool, we guess, because of exposure for the two female fighter/coaches, but why not use TUF as a way of determining if the ranks of female fighters are truly as thin as White has always and still does maintain they are?
What with all the high quality female fighters in the U.S., Japan, Australia, Europe and elsewhere, such a scenario might make White’s argument that women fighters aren’t all that good or plentiful a little less convincing. Well, at least the (for now) one-woman female UFC division is a good start.