Ronda Rousey: UFC Betting Big on Its First Female Champion
We've reached the breaking point when discussing whether or not Ronda Rousey deserves to fight in the main event of a pay-per-view, as well as debating whether or not the newly formed women's division will have the legs to carry itself for the years to come.
My coverage of Rousey started back in January when I speculated on how Rousey would do against Cyborg Santos. Then in February, I wrote a piece that explained why Rousey would become the face of women's MMA.
It wasn't hard to predict, and I'm sure many of you saw it coming as well. But did we truly see the UFC throwing Rousey out there as much as they are now? I've written a few pieces this week alone on Rousey, and even I think I need a break from this subject.
So, before I go forward with my self-imposed Ronda Rousey ban for a few weeks, I need to get the point across that the UFC is doing a disservice to Ronda and the female division by going all-in with Rousey.
The UFC has hyped Rousey up to the point where there is no way anybody could get any more excited about her. And that's all she is to the casual MMA fan–hype. If you've seen Rousey fight over the last year, then you know she is a legitimate power in MMA. You also know that one of the biggest reasons Dana hesitated in forming a women's division in the past was because of the shallow talent pool.
Now things are different. Dana sees how marketable Rousey can be. He's smart enough to know that a loss would send much of her lore down the drain and some hardcore MMA fans (who don't care much for women's MMA) would laugh their butts off with a "See, I told you!" attitude.
Although the sport as evolved and society has progressed with how we view women fighting in a cage, it still comes across as a novelty for some.
The UFC needed to form this women's division to squeeze whatever money and exposure they could out of Rousey while she's one of the hottest names in the sport. If they had waited, Rousey may have left for another organization. If she were to have lost a fight in another organization, then there is no way she'd be headlining UFC 157 and drawing the media attention she's getting now.
I want to see the women's division succeed. I think Rousey is a great champion to have, but I also think the UFC rushed this together to make money instead of building up the roster within the division. They could have followed the flyweight division model–complete with a small tournament over the year to crown the first champion.
By not going that route, they are one Rousey loss away from jeopardizing the division before it even gets started. If Liz Carmouche beats Rousey, will Carmouche then garner the same attention Rousey has?
Not a chance.
Now it's time to focus on other newsworthy items in MMA. The self-imposed Rousey ban starts...now.
Joe Chacon is a featured columnist for Bleacher Report and a staff writer for Operation Sports. You can follow him on Twitter @JoeChacon.
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