UFC President Dana White 'Committed' to Creating Female Division

Richard Langford@@noontide34Correspondent IOctober 24, 2012

May 5, 2012; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; UFC president Dana White (right) poses with Strikeforce MMA female champion Ronda Rousey during a bout between Johny Hendricks and Josh Koscheck during UFC on Fox 3 at the Izod Center. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-US PRESSWIRE
Joe Camporeale-US PRESSWIRE

Ronda Rousey is the Babe Ruth of women's mixed martial arts. Not only is she head and shoulders above all her competition, but she is pushing women's mixed martial arts into new heights of popularity. 

This fact has become increasingly apparent, as Rousey has dominated the Strikeforce ranks.

 Now, Melissa Segura and Sports Illustrated break the news that the UFC, the top MMA organization in the world, is putting in the works to expand to a female division.

UFC president Dana White tells SI.com he's working on a female division of the UFC, largely because of Rousey's influence.

"It's absolutely going to happen," White said Tuesday of the women's division.

There is no timetable set for the debut of the female division, but White made no bones about the fact that this is going to happen. This is in stark contrast to his previous stance on the subject. As Segura points out, "[White] had long rejected the idea of a women's division, deriding the quality of fighting and the depth of competition in the female ranks."

The reason for the switch is clear. Rousey, a judo bronze medalist in the 2008 Olympics, is a transcendent talent who has brought new interest to the sport, which has made it as a viable business option for White.

Rousey, 25, has generated interest by her shear dominance. She has nine MMA bouts under her belt—three amateur and six professional—and she has won all in the first round with a viscous arm bar.

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Only Miesha Tate has ever made it past a minute in the cage with Rousey, and she nearly had her arm ripped off in the process, ceding the Strikeforce title to Rousey in March.

This isn't all about Rousey's ability in the cage either. She is a photogenic person, who is not afraid of the spotlight or providing sound bites. 

She is exactly what female MMA has needed to gain a foothold in the sports landscape. This is, potentially, a historic moment for the UFC and MMA, and will only lead to the continued growth of the depth and quality of the sport.