In some not-so breaking news for MMA fans, Ronda Rousey is the newly minted UFC Women's Bantamweight Champion. Known as much for her attitude as she is for her incredible skill, the 135-pound brawling bombshell (yes, I made that nickname up just now) is certainly no stranger to making history. Now, she'll get the chance to do it again, but this time, in the UFC.
Ronda Rousey, for those unfamiliar with her, won Bronze in Judo in the 2008 Olympics, and is 6-0 in her professional MMA career (3-0 amateur), defeating every opponent in the first round by armbar. As of yesterday, she vacated the Strikeforce Women's Bantamweight Championship due to her move to the UFC.
Rousey has made headlines since she started her amateur career by defeating Hayden Munoz by armbar in 23 seconds. When she joined Strikeforce, she won her first two fights by armbar in the first round. She then moved up to the 135-pound class to challenge then-Women's Bantamweight Champion Miesha Tate, who she defeated on March 3, 2012 by armbar in the first round. Noticing a trend?
Enough history, though. Fast forward to Thursday, a day that Dana White said would never happen. There is now, officially, a women's division in the UFC. And Ronda Rousey is its champion. The fact that this day may not have happened is surprising. Dana White, who has met with WWE CEO Vince McMahon and praised the WWE's business model, loves him some personality. Chael Sonnen is one good example of the charismatic fighters now populating the UFC. And if anyone has charisma, it's Ronda Rousey.
Rousey is credited for bringing serious trash-talking into women's MMA, which has angered some fans. But that style, inspired by pro wrestling, is here to stay. And whether or not you like Rousey's attitude, she backs up everything she says, every time. Rousey's match will likely draw one of the biggest pay-per-view audiences ever for UFC, which has Dana White licking his chops over the payday.
Beyond the novelty of the first ever women's match in UFC, there are more dimensions that make the matchup historic. Rousey will be facing Liz Carmouche, a former US Marine, who will be the first openly gay fighter in the UFC, where she has found acceptance as a fighter, regardless of her orientation. And at 7-2 professionally, she's as big a threat to Rousey as there's ever been.
Rousey also made headlines last week by declaring that she tries "to have as much sex as possible" before her fights. She certainly knows how to entice the male demographic, doesn't she?
All joking aside, it's fantastic to see Ronda Rousey on the biggest stage in MMA. Assuming she continues her trend of first round armbar victories (and there's no reason she can't), she's destined for superstardom. She's got the personality, the mic skills and most of all, she's got an exceptional skill-set and top-notch trainers. Dana White would have been foolish to keep Rousey, and other great female fighters, out of the UFC.
Get ready MMA fans, 2013 is set to be one hell of a year for women's MMA.
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