Dana White, president of the outrageously popular Ultimate Fighting Championship — a promoter of mixed martial arts (MMA) fights — says he is working on a women’s division. “It’s absolutely going to happen,” White tells Sports Illustrated.
The impetus for White’s plan is Ronda Rousey, a 25-year-old female champion, who fights for Strikeforce, a former competitor bought by UFC’s parent company in 2011. To date, only one opponent has lasted longer than a minute in the cage with Rousey, who is known for her “devastating armbar.”
White doesn’t give a timetable for the forthcoming female division, but Rousey’s manager Darin Harvey says she still has three fights remaining under her Strikeforce contract. “Nothing is imminent,” says Harvey. “[Rousey] is a Strikeforce champion, not a UFC fighter.”
In 2008, Rousey became the first U.S. woman to earn an Olympic medial in judo. Strikeforce live events air on CBS and Showtime in the U.S. UFC events air on Fox, FX and Fuel TV, as well as pay-per-view.