MONTREAL: Last week, news broke that Strikeforce bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey had signed with the UFC, becoming the first woman to join the promotion’s roster. Not long after that, Rousey’s manager said, eh, not so fast.
Many fans (and fighters) are excited by this development. Rousey, an Olympic medalist in Judo, has taken the MMA world by storm. And I’m talking MMA as a whole, not just women’s MMA.
As an amateur, Rousey quickly ran up three submissions via armbar, taking a total of 104 seconds to do so. Things didn’t change all that much when Rousey went pro. Her first four fights, again all first-round armbar submission wins, ended with a total fight time of 138 seconds.
That run, along with some strong self-promotion, got her a shot at Miesha Tate, then the Strikeforce champion. Some questioned the decision, saying Rousey didn’t deserve that shot, that she had earned it more with her talk than with her actions in the cage.
At the 4:27 mark of the Tate bout, Rousey proved that she did indeed deserve the shot, locking on an armbar and stretching Tate’s arm at an obscene angle before forcing her to tap.
In her first defense of that title, Rousey got back to her old ways, finishing Sarah Kaufman by, you guessed it, armbar in 54 seconds.
Will WMMA succeed in the UFC?
Now that she has joined the UFC, the hard work will really begin for Rousey, convincing the fans, pundits and even other champions that WMMA is something to watch inside the Octagon.
It seems that one of those people that Rousey will have to convince is UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre, “It’s good for the sport, it’s good for the girls that fight, but, me personally, I have a hard time watching the girls fight. It’s my heart, you know, it’s the way I grew up maybe, it’s my mentality, I’m different, I’m old school, but I have a hard time watching girls fighting, it’s hard for me.”
It’s interesting to hear St-Pierre express those feelings and it makes you wonder how many more fans of the sport feel the same way, not to mention the mainstream sports fan who may already avoid MMA because of their preconceived notions about the sport.
If one of the sport’s biggest names has a hard time watching WMMA, it does make you believe this is an uphill battle for the UFC, but then again, what hasn’t been an uphill battle for the UFC?
**all quotes obtained first hand by BRMMA