“When are we gonna see women in the UFC?” When TMZ asked the president of the UFC, Dana White that in 2011, he said “Never”.
On Saturday, November 14th, 2015 Ronda Rousey will defend her title in the main event of the UFC versus Holly Holm. It took an athlete like Rousey to change Dana White’s mind.
Many are fast to say that this was based on some form of discrimination early on….or, that the UFC was never willing to invest in women’s MMA the way it has done for men.
However, in my opinion, that couldn’t be further from the truth. What needed to happen was an athlete like Rousey needed to come along. Someone that the UFC could put in the spot light and build the women’s division around. That is why so many people (myself included) compare Ronda to Royce Gracie. Ronda is everything to the UFC that Royce was in the sport’s infancy.
Of course, there have been talented female mixed martial artists that have come before Ronda. But, not many in the U.S. Furthermore, not any athletes of Rousey’s caliber.
Ronda is a former Olympian. She placed third in the 2008 Olympics, earning herself the bronze medal. With an athlete of her caliber, the UFC would have been foolish not to give her a shot.
Tomorrow, Rousey will face Holly Holm in the main event of UFC 193. One interesting fact to point out is that only 4 short years after saying women will never fight in the UFC, we have a women’s Co-Main Event and Main Event. In the Co-Main Event, Joanna Jedrzejczyk will defend her title versus Valerie Letourneau.
Holly Holm, Joanna Jodrzejczyk, and Valerie Letourneau are great athletes in their own right as well. Each has achieved a great level of success in combat sports.
This is an emotional moment for me. I think about all these little girls growing up and seeing Ronda achieve her dreams. She is a symbol to them. She is proof that they too can prosper; go after their dreams.
Think about it. Growing up, boys and girls are supposed to fit into these stereotypical roles. “Boys want to play with trucks. Girls want to play with dolls.” Well, what happens when that isn’t the case. What happens when a young boy wants to take ballet lessons or a young girl wants to train in judo or wrestling; sports that until recently have been seen has something only boys do.
This promo for UFC 193: Ronda Rousey vs Holly Holm – Revolution speaks volumes.