Olympic Judoka Ronda Rousey, the current Strikeforce women's bantamweight champion, is the first female to sign with the UFC.
Earlier this month, there was talk about the possibility of Ronda Rousey possibly signing with the Ultimate Fighting Championships (UFC) which is currently the largest mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion in the world. In a November 9 ESPN article, there was talks about Rousey signing with the UFC; but, nothing has been confirmed. Dana White, the head of the UFC, gave a possible hint with a smiley face on his Twitter account. Rousey, who still has three fights left under her Strikeforce contract, said she'd be cool with signing it. Keep in mind that Zuffa Inc, which owns UFC, purchases Strikeforce back in 2011. There is the hint of Strikeforce possibly folding after next year; but, it's not certain yet. The promotion still has a contract with Showtime that has an option to continue in 2013.
Rousey, who won bronze in Judo at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, currently holds the Strikeforce women's bantamweight championship title. Her current professional MMA record 6 wins, zero losses, and zero draws. All of her wins so far have been submission via the armbar. She because the women's bantamweight champion after defeating the previous champion Miesha Tate. Then, she successfully defended it against Sarah Kaufman. All of Rousey's wins so far have been in the first round.
On November 16, there was no more beating around the bush. It was confirmed that Rousey did indeed sign a contract with the UFC. In this respect, Rousey has made history as being the first female MMA fighter to sign with the largest MMA promotion in the world. This could signal a start of UFC to start having female bouts along with the possibility of future seasons of “The Ultimate Fighter” with all-female contestants.
However, there is no date set for Rousey's debut UFC fight nor is there a chosen opponent. It looks like there's going to be some time before Rousey could start fighting in the UFC. There is the question: What other female fighters will be signed into the UFC?
Currently women fight professionally in Strikeforce, Bellator, and Invicta FC. Invicta FC is the first North American professional promotion that is exclusive to female fighters. There's a possibility that White could start recruiting female fighters from those promotions once their contracts are up.
This is a sign that White's making a 180 on his previous decision. In the past, White said that there wouldn't be any female fights in the UFC.
A female fighter decided to make a YouTube video response to White.
White talked about that Rousey's a real fighter with talent. To White, Rousey is the one female fighter that is considered “UFC material.”
Since Rousey started fighting in Strikeforce, White's seemingly changed his tune. In an interview with MMA Weekly, White said that Rousey's the only female fighter he can imagine fighting in the UFC.
Now, that imagination has become reality as Rousey has signed with the UFC. Again, it's unknown when Rousey will have her debut fight. There's the issue of signing up other female fighters. One possibility of a female fighter that could be signed is Cris “Cyborg” Santos. Rousey and Cyborg have been verbally going at it back and forth with each other. Currently, Cyborg is suspended from fighting due to failing a post-fight drug test. She cannot get a license to fight yet until 2013.
There have been talks of a Rousey vs. Cyborg match; but, there's the issue of weight classes. Asides the fight suspension, the weight class issue is the other reason. Recently, an article talks about a “doctor's note” saying Cyborg cannot drop down to 135. However, the manager for Rousey isn't buying the doctor's note.
Georges “Rush” St. Pierre, the UFC welterweight champion, praised Rousey signing with the UFC. He said that this is good for women's MMA. GSP is set to defend his championship against interim champion Carlos Condit at UFC 154 on November 17.
Rousey signing with the UFC can be considered big in several ways, not just being the first female to sign with the promotion. Due to her Olympic Judo accomplishment, Rousey can be considered the face of female Judokas in MMA. Currently, Rousey can be seen as the current face of female MMA since Gina Carano. Since the fight with Cyborg, Carano hasn't fought in another MMA match. Currently, Carano can be seen in the movies. It's unknown if or when Carano plans to make an MMA return.
Asides from her wins, Rousey's known for trash talking people. One person Rousey trashed talk was Kim Kardashian. It's highly likely that Rousey will continue her trash talking in the MMA.
Be forewarned, the video above does have graphic language.
As for Rousey, there are questions to be asked: Is she still going to finish her fights with Strikeforce? She's the only female to sign with the UFC so far. If that's the case and Rousey wins, when will she vacate the title? In terms for opponents, who's going to be the next female fighter to sign with the UFC?