After spending years loudly proclaiming that there would never be women's MMA in the Octagon, UFC President Dana White shocked the world with the recent announcement of the signing of Ronda Rousey. White talked about what made him change his mind, as well as some other insight into the future of female fighting in the UFC.
Never say never.
It's one of those famous last words that can come back to haunt you. Unless, of course, you're Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) President Dana White, in which case you can merely say you meant something else or coyly pretend it never happened.
Or all of the above.
That's been the story for many of White's past juxtapositions, but not so when it comes to his recent "flip flop" on women's mixed martial arts' (WMMA) existence within the UFC. For years, White stood staunchly opposed to possibility of "girl fights" ever happening inside his promotion's cages, going as far as to say it would never happen.
Why the change of heart? White tells "Inside MMA's" Ron Kruck that the move had everything to do with Rousey, herself:
"Ronda Rousey. Watching her, meeting her, knowing her. From the outside, she's this beautiful girl who won a bronze medal in the Olympics and everything else, but when you talk to Ronda Rousey, and you get to know her, she's a Diaz brother, inside. She's a real fighter, and that's what I look for in anybody, whether you're a male or a female. She's nasty. She's mean. She likes to fight, and she likes to finish people. Those are the kind of people I like, whether you're a male or a female."
Unfortunately for White and the UFC, actually getting "Rowdy" into the Octagon is going to take some time and effort. When asked how soon he'd prefer to see her throwing up armbars on his company's fight cards, the answer was to the point:
As soon as possible:
"Next Saturday, but unfortunately, that's not gonna happen. So, we'll see how this whole thing plays out."
Other drama involving the signing of Rousey has had to do with whether or not the UFC would also be able to sign fellow female fighting great, Cristiane Justino.
Recently, White stated that he believes "Cyborg" doesn't want to fight Rousey. When prompted, once again, he was sticking to his guns:
"I think the issue is that it's pretty clear that 'Cyborg' doesn't want this fight. I'm trying out this 135 pound division. I think that the division is stacked enough where she has some serious opposition ahead of her. But, that's it. I'm trying out this 135 pound division."
For the time being, it is certain that Rousey will, indeed, be fighting in the UFC, and that there will be a 135-pound women's division built around her.
Whether or not "Cyborg" will ever be brought along for the ride is still up in the air, but it's likely that the UFC will manage to somehow continue existing without her.