Fight fans, I hope you are enjoying the rise of women's mixed martial arts, because we are going to see a lot more of it.
Ronda Rousey's rise to superstardom is going to lead to the continued growth of her sport. She is generating way too much money and interest for there not to be a continued expansion.
Rousey (7-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) made a successful UFC debut this past weekend by using her patented armbar to defeat Liz Carmouche in the first round.
But that is only part of what made this a success. Rousey's bout was the headliner for that pay-per-view event.
Lance Pugmire of the Los Angeles Times reports that the event brought in a live-gate haul greater than $1.4 million, and that "the pay-per-view figures were assessed as 40% better than the UFC’s Super Bowl weekend card that featured Jose Aldo retaining his featherweight belt against Frankie Edgar."
While there are people in the industry who may be inclined to dismiss women's fighting no matter how good the bouts may be, you'll be hard pressed to find anyone involved in the business of MMA to turn a blind eye to those kinds of numbers.
This isn't the only sign of Rousey's growing pull.
Veteran UFC analyst Jeremy Botter covered the event, and in an ensuing article on Chron.com, noted that "Rousey’s debut just felt like a big deal. She attracted far more media attention than any other UFC fighter in the history of the company, and that includes Brock Lesnar."
While Rousey's star is clearly on the rise, it isn't just limited to her.
Now, her success doesn't mean other female fighters are on the fast track to superstardom. Whether a fighter is male or female, being a true star and driving the box office is about far more than wins and losses: Fighting styles, attitude, looks and a whole multitude of factors go into this.
However, what it does mean is that the potential is there for a female fighter to create big business. That means Dana White and anyone else trying to make money in MMA will be on the lookout for and trying to promote the next Rousey.
This is only going to lead to more and more female MMA bouts.