As Ronda Rousey has made history as the first female to sign with the UFC, there is the question who's going to be her first opponent.
With the mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion Strikeforce folding soon, there is question about the women that compete professionally. Strikeforce is due to fold after January 12, 2013. Currently, there are women's divisions in Bellator. There is also the all-female MMA promotion called Invicta FC. In the past, Dana White who is the head of the Ultimate Fighting Championships (UFC) said that there won't be a women's division ever in the UFC. After seeing Olympic Judoka Ronda Rousey in action, White's made an about face on what he said earlier. Rousey won the 135-pound women's championship after she defeated the previous champion Miesha Tate. Since then, Rousey's been successful at defending the title.
It was made official that Rousey has signed with the UFC. Rousey has made history as the first female fighter to join with that promotion. In an article on the Bleacher Report, Miesha Tate is the second female to sign with the UFC. For women's MMA in the UFC, this can be presented as a double-edged sword.
By joining the UFC, Rousey vacated her Strikeforce title. Now, she's the UFC's women's bantamweight champion. According to Dana White, the title's being manufactured. This brings up an important question: Who is the first person Rousey is going to defend the title against? Will it be a “rematch” between Rousey and Tate?
Back in Strikeforce, Rousey and Cris “Cyborg” Santos have been trading verbal barbs with each other. Santos was the women's 145-pound champion; but, she was stripped of the title after testing positive for a banned substance after a post-fight blood test after her victory against Hiroko Yamanaka.
White said that Rousey's debut fight will be a pay-per-view (PPV) event.
While there are many who are hoping for Rousey and Cyborg to fight, it seems highly unlikely. This goes back to the double-edged sword mentioned earlier. White said that only the women's 135-pound division is going to be brought into the UFC. Cyborg weighs 145 and fighting as a featherweight will have to drop ten pounds. Unless Cyborg does that, she won't be getting signed by the UFC. Currently, Cyborg's under a fight suspension until December due to the failed drug test.
Female fighters that wish to compete in the UFC will either have to drop down or go up weight classes.
In regards to that, White said that unless Cyborg goes down to 135, she's not getting a place in the UFC. Apparently it seems that White's goading Cyborg to drop down to that weight class. He also implied that perhaps Cyborg doesn't want to fight Rousey.
It remains to be seen whether or not Cyborg will drop down in weight.
As for the UFC, there's the task of building the women's 135-pound division. Before Rousey or Tate have their debut fights, there comes the need to sign more fighters. The question is: Who else will the UFC sign into that division? In the case of Rousey, who is she going to fight first?