UFC 157: What Will Happen to WMMA If Ronda Rousey Isn't a Draw?

Andrew SaundersCorrespondent IIJanuary 3, 2013

Oct 5, 2012; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Ronda Rousey watches the press conference after the fights at the UFC on FX 5 at the Target Center. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports
Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

With the recent report (via MMAmania.com) that UFC 157 has sold less than 5,000 tickets, we are forced to wonder if the UFC audience is going to be receptive to the most dangerous women alive taking center stage.

Granted, UFC 157 doesn't take place until February 23. However, with more than 18,000 available seats at the Honda Center, it is safe to say that tickets are selling slower than Zuffa had hoped.

Dana White and Co. are taking a huge leap of faith by booking Rousey versus Carmouche as a Pay-Per-View main event. After all, the female side of mixed martial arts is as unproven a commodity as they come.

Some may point to Strikeforce: Carano vs Cyborg in support of Rousey's top billing.

After all, there were two other title fights on the card, yet the females took the spotlight at the exciting event.

However, let's keep in mind a few variables that the event had on its side that UFC 157 does not.

Most importantly, Rousey's headlining fight will have a $55 price tag attached, while Carano's time on top was aired for free to Showtime subscribers.

In the source article, Dave Meltzer talks about how this event is selling faster than UFC 133 and UFC 150, however, both of those events were considered to be failures on PPV, with the former selling 310,000 with Rashad Evans in the main event and the latter generating less than 200,000 buys.

Regardless of what fans may think of the main event, UFC 157 provides a solid card for pay-per-view. The co-main event is occupied by a title eliminator between Dan Henderson and Lyoto Machida.

Also, Josh Koscheck welcomes Robbie Lawler back into the UFC in a welterweight battle, and former WEC champion Urijah Faber is also on the card.

In the event that Rousey's time in the spotlight generates disappointing numbers, it is hard to imagine that the UFC president will continue showcasing the females who are now signed to Zuffa contracts. 

Perhaps the ladies will be moved onto Fox broadcasts.

After all, that's what happened to Benson Henderson and Demetrious Johnson after the UFC realized that they weren't capable of carrying a PPV on their own.

In any case, Rousey has taken some major steps towards getting WMMA accepted by the MMA community. If she fails to draw quality numbers for the UFC, it isn't the end of the world, but corrective measures will need to be taken quickly in order to make sure that the ship doesn't sink.