In a landmark move for UFC, Ronda Rousey has signed on to become the first female in the league's history.
The 25-year-old fighter made the announcement on her Twitter page.
Rousey (@RondaRousey) November 16, 2012
UFC President Dana White first confirmed the rumors on the Jim Rome Show. Despite originally not wanting to disclose the information, there was definitely excitement in his voice when he described the newest addition to his enterprise.
She's a real fighter and she's very talented. She has the credentials, the pedigree; I mean everything. I think she has that 'it' factor.
Of course, there were some doubts from White in making the move happen. He told Rome, "I've never been interested in women's MMA. First, there haven't been enough good girls to make a division, and there has never been a [superstar]."
Well, he now has his superstar.
Rousey has a lot of things going in her favor. First, she is extremely talented. She has a Judo background that helped her take the bronze medal at the 2008 Summer Olympics. She also took silver at the 2007 World Championships.
Still, her overall ability as a mixed martial arts fighter is what makes her elite. In six professional and three amateur fights, Rousey has a perfect 9-0 record. She forced a first-round submission in each, and only one lasted longer than a minute.
This helped her win the Women's Bantamweight Championship in an incredibly short amount of time.
In addition, fans will fall in love with her signature move of an armbar. This has been used for each of her submissions—even dislocating a few elbows in the process.
She latches on to armbars better than R.A. Dickey throws knuckleballs, and her uniqueness will only increase popularity.
Finally, she is, as they used to say, quite easy on the eyes. Her attractiveness will keep many more male viewers tuned in than ever before.
Is this a good move for UFC?
UFC was hesitant at adding a women's division, but it seems to have hit a gold mine with Rousey.
For the California native, moving to UFC has its advantages as well. The pay-per-view events will generate quite a bit of extra money to her income.
Also, the wider market will help Rousey become a top choice for endorsements in a wide array of products.
There will still be a process of filling out a women's division in order to make it competitive. Technically, Rousey will only be tied with her next opponent as the first females to participate in UFC.
However, the initial signing of Rousey guarantees that there is someone talented and charismatic enough to handle the spotlight.
Each side of the deal will benefit greatly from this move, both in the short and long term.