Despite having no UFC fights on her record, Ronda Rousey will make history by becoming the first woman to headline a UFC pay-per-view event on her very first fight with the promotion.
Gracie Mag reports that Henderson's trainer made a detailed post on Facebook explaining his stance on UFC 157 being headlined by the newly-crowned women's bantamweight champion, whom Pugliese claims doesn't deserve to take a main event five-round fight away from Henderson:
Ronda is the champion of Strikeforce with 6 wins in less than 2 years of a mma professional career. That's impressive regardless of who she has fought. However, she is not the UFC champion yet. She still has to win this fight to get that belt.
On the other hand, we have Hendo, who has also been the Strikeforce champion (never lost the belt),Pride champion in 2 different weight classes; he has been ranked #1 contender for the UFC 205lbs, and by many pound for pound best fighter. His resume is second to none, moreover, he is fighting a former champion, Lyoto Machida.
Now why aren't they main event? Is Ronda a better market value?
I don't know, but her fight could be quick as usual and we could be missing another historic 5 rds fight between 2 legends and possible hall of famers. I'm not saying she doesn't deserve to headline an UFC event, but certainly not this one.
As noted before, this is the first time that Henderson has not been featured as a headliner since April 2010, with four Strikeforce events and a UFC 139 bout against Mauricio Rua on-record since then.
UFC president Dana White has expressed his own stance on the issue as well, telling MMA media members after the TUF 16 Finale that no matter what, the champion of a division will headline a card over a non-champion.
Obviously, that includes Ronda Rousey, whom Dana White describes as a "badass" that deserves to lead UFC 157 on Feb. 23 at Anaheim's Honda Center. Rousey will therefore make her first title defense against top-ranked female bantamweight Liz Carmouche as the main event, while Henderson vs. Machida remains a three-round co-main event.