Ronda Rousey will become one of the biggest stars in the UFC after dispatching Liz Carmouche.
If she's successful, Rousey has the capability to open up the UFC to an entirely different segment of fans.
Women and combat sports haven't exactly had a great partnership. Laila Ali made a nice career for herself. For the most part, though, it wasn't a very good sell to watch women bash each others' faces in. MMA is a much more attractive alternative as there aren't as many blows to the head.
For so long, Dana White had held steadfast to his stance that females would not fight in the UFC. You could understand where he was coming from—simply adding women to the division might appear to be more of a publicity stunt rather than a move to try to grow the product.
Having women in a predominantly male-driven sport can generate a bit of buzz and bring plenty of attention from the general sporting public. If those female athletes aren't successful, though, they quickly fade from consciousness.
Danica Patrick is the biggest example. She moves the needle a bit, but until she produces results, few will really take her seriously on the racetrack.
Sports fans aren't going to put up with a substandard product. If bringing in Rousey was nothing more than a publicity stunt, fans, especially those as passionate as the UFC's, would see right through it.
Rousey, though, comes in having already proven herself to be a beast. With her, White has the perfect candidate for the UFC's first female star.
She is the total package. From an appearance perspective, Rousey is a beautiful woman and one of the most gorgeous athletes around—however, she is far from just a pretty face. Rousey has built her reputation not simply on her looks, but rather through her devastating armbar submission.
Rousey can open up an entirely new demographic for the UFC. This is not to say that women don't watch the UFC now, but having a successful female star could really help to grow the company in female viewership.
If Rousey's match proves to be a big draw, it could open the door for more women to compete in the company, thus setting up even weight classes for the women's division.
Then, there's also the possibility of a mega-fight between Rousey and Cyborg Santos, which could be one of the most heavily hyped fights of the year.
In much less capable hands, this might be a lot for a fighter to handle, however, Rousey is more than ready to carry the female division in UFC.
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