White: Rousey's the Only Reason Women Fight in UFC

Dan HiergesellFeatured ColumnistNovember 11, 2013

Feb 23, 2013; Anaheim, CA, USA;    Ronda Rousey attends the post fight press conference at the Honda Center. Rousey defeated Liz Carmouche in their bantamweight title bout. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

As the most prolific and famous female fighter on the planet, UFC bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey carries a torch that others simply can't. 

Over the past nine months, Rousey has been at the forefront of a mixed martial arts evolution.  She has served as the sport's quintessential poster girl, becoming the promotion's first ever women's champion after dismantling Liz Carmouche at UFC 157 back in February.

But as successful as "Rowdy" is inside of the Octagon with her first-round armbar wizardry, and outside of it with a polarizing image combining sexuality and ferocity, she isn't loved by everyone.

Just like any champion in any sport, the 26-year-old has her critics.  It shouldn't bother a tough competitor like Rousey, but her current stint as a coach on The Ultimate Fighter Season 18, opposite archrival Miesha Tate, has created a whirlwind of negative perceptions.

She has a responsibility to the sport and her promotion to act as a champion should act.  But despite her weekly ups and downs, UFC president Dana White didn't seem too concerned during his post-fight media scrum at UFC Fight Night 32 this past weekend, which was originally reported by Bloody Elbow.

"It's not the way she portrayed herself; it's who she is," said White.  "It's why women fight in the UFC, because of her.  I could care less if you don't like her or you like her.  It doesn't matter to me.  She's the world champion, she's badass, and she goes out to win." 

Feb 23, 2013; Anaheim, CA, USA;    Ronda Rousey (black shorts) and Liz Carmouche (white shorts) fight during their UFC women's world bantamweight championship bout at the Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

And win she does.  Rousey's first-round armbar of Carmouche to capture the title earlier this year was her seventh in a row.  It's a streak that demands respect from any MMA fan as she continues to prove her worth to the promotion that gave her the shot of a lifetime.

"You could line up all the greatest girls on earth from here to f**king Pluto," added White.  "And she's the one that when I met her, I said this chick is insanely competitive and just a different animal.  She's what it took to get women in the UFC.  Hate her or not, the reason all these girls fight in the UFC is because of her."

So despite a personality that is sometimes unbearably brash, Rousey's accomplishments simply supplant her attitude.  But would her recent public quarrels be less provoked if she was tested by a different coach on TUF?

April 13, 2013; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Miesha Tate prepares to face Cat Zingano during the TUF 17 Finale at the Mandalay Bay Events Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

"The thing is, with her and Miesha, she hates Miesha Tate," said White.  "When she and Cat Zingano were gonna be the coaches, you heard them talk on the podium, the mutual respect.  She hates Miesha Tate.  Hates her.  And anyone who's ever hated somebody before knows how that feels."

The two hard-nosed bantamweights are scheduled for a long-awaited rematch this December at UFC 168.  Rousey will have yet another opportunity to showcase her elite skills against a top contender and continue the historic legacy she began earlier this year.

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