Ten Female Fighters That Can Join Ronda Rousey in the UFC
You think of Women's MMA, the first name that pops into the mind is Ronda Rousey. The first UFC women's champion will be the first female to headline a show as she defends her title against Liz Carmouche at UFC 157 next month. Dana White has stated women's MMA right now is "The Ronda Rousey Show."
Hopefully, Dana White reads this because here are 10 other women that can join Rousey in the UFC.
We don't know if Miesha Tate is in the UFC yet, but since we have no formal announcement, we will put her on the list.
Tate is a former Strikeforce women's bantamweight champion who lost her title to Ronda Rousey last March. That fight generated a lot of publicity for both women and really helped push Women's MMA to the forefront.
Tate suffered an arm injury in the fight, but recovered and defeated Julie Kedzie in a fight of the year this past August.
"Takedown" could potentially face the winner of Rousey and Liz Carmouche, so expect her sooner rather than later inside the Octagon.
Sara McMann, like Miesha Tate, has been rumored to already be in the UFC, but nothing is official as of yet. The 2004 Olympic Silver Medalist in wrestling has made the transition to MMA seem effortless.
McMann is undefeated in her career and defeated Shayna Baszler at the Invicta FC 2 card in August. She had signed a contract with Strikeforce shortly after that fight and was supposed to face Liz Carmouche. McMann had to drop out of the fight, though, due to injury.
McMann has been also rumored to face the winner of Ronda Rousey and Liz Carmouche, but a bout with Tate would be a good way for both women to make their octagon debuts.
A lot of people thought a Ronda Rousey vs. Cris Cyborg matchup would have been the first female fight in UFC history. Due to Cyborg's initial resistance that she cannot make 135 pounds, the UFC went with Liz Carmouche to face Rousey.
Cyborg, who is the former Strikeforce women's featherweight champion, hasn't fought since December 2011 due to testing positive for a banned substance.
The 145-pound women's division is very thin and the UFC as of right now has not been hinting at a 145 pound division. Dana White has stated the only way Cyborg gets into the UFC is if she drops down to 135. Cyborg though has stated she can get down to 135.
A potential Cyborg vs. Rousey fight is potentially the biggest fight in women's history.
Sarah Kaufman was the first Canadian woman to win a major title when she defeated Takayo Hashi in 2010 to win the Strikeforce women's bantamweight title.
Kaufman was supposed to face Miesha Tate last March for the title, but to the nature of the war of words between Ronda Rousey and Tate, that fight took place instead. Kaufman defeated Alexis Davis on that same show and faced Rousey in August.
The fight was highly publicized, which Rousey won by first-round submission. That fight, though, has made Kaufman a well-known name in the sport. The Canadian will be fighting for Invicta Fighting Championships at their next show in April against an opponent to be announced.
People are going to say well this can't happen because Jessica Eye fights for Bellator. The Ohio native right now has never seen her stock this high.
Eye defeated Bellator women's 115-pound champion Zoila Gurgel by first-round submission in just 58 seconds. The UFC right now, though, doesn't have a 125-pound division, but it is a stacked division along with 135 pounds.
Watch for Eye in the future. If women in the UFC do well and Bellator doesn't do anything with the flyweight division, watch for Eye to cross over to the octagon.
You could make the case for Alexis Davis being the most exciting fighter in Women's MMA. The Canadian has won four of her last five fights defeating Julie Kedzie, Amanda Nunes, Hitomi Akano and Shayna Baszler, who she defeated this past Saturday at Invicta FC 4.
The only loss of those five fight was to Sarah Kaufman as that was quite arguably the 2012 women's fight of the year. The fight was a slugfest with both women bleeding heavily at the end of the fight.
"Ally-Gator" has had her last two fights under the Invicta banner and her next fight hasn't been announced.
A lot of people say Tara LaRosa is the godmother of Women's MMA. LaRosa has been competing in MMA since April 2002, which is almost 11 years in the sport.
LaRosa has competed at 135 pounds, but now competes in the 125-pound division. She has fought against some of the best fighters in the sport like Julie Kedzie, Alexis Davis and Shayna Baszler.
LaRosa lost her fight for the Invicta Fighting Championships where Vanessa Porto emerged victorious in October. One loss doesn't break a fighter, so don't be shocked if we see LaRosa at 135 inside the UFC cage.
Like Tara LaRosa, you can call Julie Kedzie a pioneer in Women's MMA. Kedzie has been fighting for almost nine years, making her MMA debut in March of 2004.
The Illinois native, lately though, has carved out a post-fight career as she has been a commentator for all four Invicta Fighting Championships shows.
Kedzie last competed in August of last year, as she lost a highly competitive fight against former Strikeforce women's bantamweight champion Miesha Tate by third-round submission. It was a fight that people thought was either even or Kedzie was winning heading into the final round.
Kedzie hasn't stated when she will be competing next.
Shayna Baszler has shown that she is one of the most entertaining women's fighters in the sport.
That was evidenced this past Saturday night as she had an early Fight of the Year candidate against Alexis Davis. Even in defeat, Baszler was credited for putting on an amazing fight.
"The Queen of Spades" has fought the likes of Davis, Sara McMann and Elaina Maxwell. Baszler would be an excellent addition to the women's division due to her style of fighting.
Julia Budd may not be a household name to the casual fan, but she has the most disputed fight against UFC women's bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey.
They squared off at the final Strikeforce Challengers event in November 2011. Rousey had gotten a triangle armbar, but Budd never tapped out. Referee Kim Winslow heard a pop in Budd's arm and stopped the fight. Budd ended up suffering a dislocated elbow.
The Canadian's last two fights have been under the Invicta Fighting Championships banner. She has defeated Elina Nilsson and Danielle West in those fights.
The 145-pound division doesn't exist right now in the UFC and if Budd can make the cut to 135, she would be a tough out in the women's bantamweight division.