Is Ronda Rousey the reason so many women have taken an interest in the UFC? Dana White, president of the UFC, thinks so, and discussed Rousey's influence among women during a recent interview.
Having only been a part of the UFC for little over a year, Rousey has made a profound impact on women fighters. She signed with the UFC in November 2012, and has since held bantamweight title. In February 2013, Rousey became the first woman to fight in the UFC octagon against Liz Carmouche.
Because of her growing popularity amongst UFC fans, Rousey landed a spot coaching on the reality television show, "The Ultimate Fighter". She coaches alongside her nemesis, Miesha Tate. However, after the show started airing in September and people were able to see Rousey's true personality, viewers started second guessing their opinions of her.
“We needed to bring attention to all these girls who are so passionate and train so hard," Rousey said. "They are valiant fighters and extremely passionate about what they do. They offer so much the guys don’t, and I thought it was something people really needed to see. I thought The Ultimate Fighter could provide that vessel where people could start getting interested in these other women coming up.”
Tate gave her opinion of Rousey in a recent interview with Sportskeeda correspondent, Akhilesh Gannavarapu. "She’s just not a nice person in my opinion; not just with me but with a lot of people. She’s not nice to you when she thinks that you’re beneath her, that’s what I’ve discovered," Tate said. "If she doesn’t think you’re on her level or above her, she has no time for you. She doesn’t respect you if she thinks you’re below her and she has treated a lot of people on this season like that, and I don’t have any time for that, and I don’t have any respect for her either."
White says he doesn't care what everyone's opinions of Rousey are. He says without her, women would not be fighting in the UFC octagon.
“It’s not the way she’s portrayed herself. It’s who she is. It’s why women fight in the UFC because of her,” said White on November 9th following UFC Fight Night 32 . “I could care less if you don’t like her or like her. It doesn’t matter to me. She’s the world champion and she's badass and she goes out to win."
“I wouldn’t have done it without Ronda,” said White. “You could line up all the greatest girls on Earth from here to (expletive) Pluto, and she’s the one that when I met her I said, this chick is insanely competitive and just a different animal. And she’s what it took to get women in the UFC.”
Cue the video to 6:40 to hear White talk about Rousey.
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