There are still roadblocks ahead, but the early forecast for women's MMA in the UFC looks promising.
The curtains rolled back on "The Ronda Rousey Show" at UFC 157 on Saturday night.
For the first time in UFC history, women not only competed inside the Octagon, but Ronda Rousey's bantamweight title bout with Liz Carmouche stood alone as the main attraction.
The mere idea of women headlining a UFC pay-per-view card was initially met with all-around resentment.
How could a bout between Rousey and Carmouche possibly be held in higher relevance than one between legendary light heavyweights Dan Henderson and Lyoto Machida?
For Rousey and Carmouche, it was never about outdoing the men or snubbing legacies. It was about proving they belong and showing that they deserve to compete on the same stage as past and current all-time greats.
Like every man to ever step through the cage door, Rousey and Carmouche put everything on the line. It was all there—blood, sweat, heart, determination.
The crowning moment came at the end as thousands stood to applaud the women. It represented a monumental step forward in the sport. Women will now and forever be an integral part of MMA.
Here are three reasons new fans will stick around after Rousey and Carmouche.