MONTREAL – Ronda Rousey is coming to the UFC at some point. When she does make her debut with the promotion, she’ll enter the Octagon with a UFC title belt strapped around her waist, much in the same way that Jose Aldo came to the UFC as a champion when the WEC was absorbed into the UFC.
The UFC introducing a women’s division is a huge step for the promotion, after all, we’re not that far removed from the days when UFC president Dana White proclaimed that women would never compete for the promotion.
A talent on the level of Rousey is one that needs to be taken advantage of, and that is exactly what the UFC is doing, bringing in the 135-pound women’s division with Rouseyas champion.
With that being said, White, speaking to the media after UFC 154, indicated that the 135-pound division would be the only division coming to the UFC and that “I’m trying(emphasis White’s) this whole women’s thing out, obviously Ronda’s the champ.”
White continued, “This thing is all new, we’re kind of playing with it. I know this, over the next couple of years we’ve got fights in the 135-pound division, good fights. Ronda’s the champ and she’ll come in and we’ll see how this thing plays out.”
Perhaps I’m reading too much into White’s words, but it seems like there is a clear trial period for the UFC’s women’s MMA division, with the promotion taking a wait-and-see attitude before committing long term to the division.
The long-term future for WMMA in the UFC most likely hinges on a few factors. Will UFC fans support a pay-per-view anchored by aRousey title defense? Are there enough fighters to sustain the division? Is there sustainable long-term growth?
The door is open for women to compete in the UFC, now it’s up to the fighters to show that they belong with the promotion for the long haul.