Is someone pulling rank?
Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) co-owner Lorenzo Fertitta, who was both "captivated" and "blown away" by the headlining fight of Ronda Rousey vs. Miesha Tate back on March 3 under the Strikeforce banner, is a staunch supporter of women's mixed martial arts (MMA).
UFC President Dana White? Not so much.
Women's MMA, while prevalent overseas in Japan and Australia, is limited to mostly regional promotions in the United States, with the occasional superfight televised under the Strikeforce banner when one or more of its top stars are available.
But will we ever see women inside the Octagon?
Fertitta believes the perceived lack of depth in the existing talent pool is not only starting to change, but could be compensated by the matchmaking skills of Joe Silva and Sean Shelby.
Those comments (via MMA Fighting) after the jump.
"I've never been against it. You know, me and Dana, although we always go on a common front, we don't always agree on everything. The reality is, I'm a fan. I was captivated by the [Ronda Rousey vs. Miesha Tate] fight. [I was] blown away by their athleticism and the way they promoted the fight, the whole thing. To me, it was very, very entertaining. Dana is right. Historically there has been an issue with the depth of talent in the talent pool, but it seems to me like that is starting to change and the one argument I make when we talk about it, and this might sound a little self-serving, but we've never been in the women's game, so we've never had our matchmakers do this. Let Joe Silva and Sean Shelby develop a women's league. I guarantee you they can do it. They're that good."
Women's MMA has once again found a way to bubble to the surface of the combat sports world thanks to Rousey, who is 5-0 in her professional career, with all five wins coming by way of first-round armbar submission. Her Olympic background, along with her ability to snap elbows, has given combat sports fans plenty to talk about.
But for how long?
The "Rowdy" one has filled the shoes of Gina Carano, who abandoned the fight game to pursue a career in Hollywood. The other top draw, Cristiane Santos, is currently riding the pine thanks to a steroid suspension.
There are a couple of schools of thought here, but which side are you on? Do you favor White, because there isn't enough quality match-ups worth featuring? Or Fertitta, who wants to give the ladies a chance to do their thing?