As Ronda Rousey and Liz Carmouche prepare for the UFC’s first women’s match in the history of the organization at UFC 157, fans should prepare themselves for the future.
Some critics and fans say the UFC is making a mistake starting a women’s division, and an even bigger mistake having women headline a pay-per-view. The truth is, no matter the outcome, the UFC and Dana White are making a decision that will only benefit the company.
For starters, have you seen some of the women fight?
The women who enter the cage are just as skilled as any man. They are athletic, ruthless and can do everything associated with MMA.
Rousey, the inaugural UFC women’s bantamweight champion, is an absolute monster in the cage. She’s never fought a match that has gone past he first round, and only one of her matches lasted longer than a minute.
All of her matches have ended via submission with an armbar. Her ability to pull off a submission as quickly as she does is nothing short of impressive.
Carmouche is no slouch, either, finding multiple ways to win matches and showing off her cardiovascular training in matches that went out of the first round.
If you were able to catch a Strikeforce women’s match over the last year, you should know that these women are legitimate fighters.
They know how to put on a show. For some fans, it’s all about the knockouts. But for fans of the technical aspect of mixed martial arts, this showdown is for you.
The women need to be technically superior to win and can’t rely on brute force to subdue their opponent. The match on Saturday will be entertaining, regardless of its length.
The more White and the company promote the fight, the more attention it gets for being the first women’s fight to headline a UFC pay-per-view. Any time something is the first, people want to check it out.
Let’s say Rousey and Carmouche put on a show for everyone and it draws the most attention of any match on the card. This will pave the way for more athletic, competitive and driven women to compete for the belt, because of the opportunity Rousey and Carmouche gave to them.
It will solidify the division for the organization and people will want to watch more women’s fights as a result. More divisions for the women could also potentially take shape.
This also kills any belief that the UFC and MMA are just for men. It gives women the opportunity to watch another woman do something they thought couldn't be done.
Rousey vs. Carmouche could be a draw for future female fans for the UFC, if packaged right.
The match could bring a swarm of more sponsors, headlines and conversations to the UFC. Having a match of this magnitude (first women’s match, first women’s bantamweight championship defense and first women’s match to headline a pay-per-view in UFC history) will only bring media attention to the organization.
This is a public relations dream. We just went over all the firsts for the organization, but the UFC will still benefit from the match even if it ends up being horrible.
If the match is a stinker, it will push other women in the company to show that they are for real. The other women signed by White will work hard to solidify their reputations and that of the division.
Common thought would be that if this match is terrible, the women’s division will be done and nobody will want to watch ever again. I say the opposite.
If a friend of yours comes to you and says something is horrible, you instantly want to check it out. Why would this be any different?
The next time a women’s match is featured at a UFC event (if Rousey vs. Carmouche goes south), people will want to see if the rumors are true.
Sure, the match will be less likely to headline the event, but it will give the women who are fighting the ability to prove the doubters wrong.
I don’t think that will be the case, as I truly believe this fight will solidify the division.
This match will usher in a new era of the UFC. Women will be more than just ring girls to the company; they will be legitimate contenders for pay-per-views.
If you are the type of person who doesn't like when women’s sports are featured, turn away from the UFC now. This is the future of the company, and women will be headlining pay-per-views for a while.