It’s funny how the right set of circumstances can change someone’s mind on a subject that he had once vehemently opposed. In the world of mixed martial arts, a perfect example of this would be women fighting in the UFC.
Not that long ago, UFC president Dana White said that women would “never” compete inside the Octagon. A little more than a year after making that statement, not only will we see women fight for the UFC, but they will do so in the main event.
So what changed White’s mind? Did White have some sudden epiphany that the time was right or that the UFC needed to have a more inclusive workplace in the Octagon? No and No.
What changed White’s mind was one fighter who is more marketable than any of the male fighters competing under the UFC banner.
That fighter is Ronda Rousey.
Rousey is set to make her UFC debut at UFC 157, and when she does she’ll be defending her UFC women’s title against Liz Carmouche and yes, that bout will be the evening’s main event.
When speaking about Rousey and the fight card she will be headlining, White said, “When this thing gets closer, you guys will see the UFC being talked about and stories being done in places that have never been done ever before in the 13-year history that we have owned this company. Ronda will be in places that have never, ever been done in MMA before and to me that is already a success.”
White came across as confident in the UFC’s plans not only for Rousey, but for everything the future holds for the organization.
“It’s funny that people still f**king doubt us,” White said. “Oh there putting Ronda out there, this things going to flop, the Fox deal’s tanking, Fox is pulling terrible numbers, this thing is never going to work. It’s like everybody has these opinions on what’s going on when they have no clue what’s really going on behind the scenes.”
As for the detractors who are saying that the Rousey vs. Carmouche bout will never work as a main event, White had a simple message, “If you’re pissed off and you don’t like women fighting, then don’t watch the last f**king fight, the rest of the card has a bunch of great fights on it.”
UFC 157 will take place on Feb. 23 from the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif.
**All quotes obtained firsthand by Bleacher Report MMA.