Ronda Rousey and Gina Carano seem to be on a collision course.
This proposed fight has been polarizing. Some like the bout, while others think it is a farce. Regardless, the UFC is 100 percent right to try to make this fight happen. It does more good than harm.
Carano has been away from MMA since August of 2009. Sure. But you must look beyond the inactivity to realize why this fight makes sense.
The women's bantamweight division is thin, and its top contender, Cat Zingano, is coming off a serious knee injury. The options for Rousey's next opponent are very slim. Rousey is a mainstream crossover star, and the UFC will want to capitalize on that.
Rousey has defeated the other four women in the Top Five. The interest for any of those rematches is low.
Carano is a fresh challenger. Would she do any better?
While Carano has been away from the cage in active competition for five years, we do not know how much she has been training on her own during this time. It is conceivable that she has improved her overall game in that time, but let's focus on what we know.
She is a talented striker who went 7-1 in her short career. Her lone loss was at 145 pounds against the ever-tough Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino—a fight in which Carano mounted Cyborg on the canvas. However, her inexperience on the ground didn't allow her to take full advantage of the position.
She lost to Cyborg. That is not a bad loss.
All of her seven other fights were victories.
She battled tough veterans such as Rosi Sexton, Kaitlin Young, Tonya Evinger and Julie Kedzie. And she dominated all of those fights. She was the bigger fighter in all of those bouts, and she took control of the situation.
This is not a situation where Rousey would be taking on an unproven newcomer or a returning fighter with a less-than-stellar record. Carano was a solid fighter.
White recently provided one of the best points possible at the UFC Dublin media scrum that aired on UFC Fight Pass. White asked the media if Carano would be any less competitive than Rousey's two most recent title defenses. Would she? No.
Sara McMann lasted 66 seconds, and Alexis Davis clocked in at 16 ticks of the clock.
Is Carano going to be less competitive than that against Rousey? It is hard to believe that could be possible.
The largest factor in why the UFC is right to make this fight is that combat sports is about putting on fights that sell, and Carano vs. Rousey sells.
No matter how you slice it, the fight is interesting. It will draw interest to whatever fight card it is on. It brings more eyes to the sport and more eyes to women's MMA.
That is what the UFC and the sport need.
Is Carano deserving of the fight? Certainly not over some of the active fighters already in the division, but none of those fights are one-tenth as intriguing or entertaining.
MMA is not purely sport. It is part spectacle. It has to be.
The sooner fans embrace the notion that sometimes the spectacle outweighs the sport, the better. And the potential bout between Carano and Rousey certainly tips the scale in favor of making the fight.
This bout will give Zingano time to knock off the dust, Holly Holm to debut and the other fighters in the division to gather more interest.
It is a good fight for the entire division.
The UFC has every right to put Rousey in a fight that the vast majority of fans will care about, and this is it.