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Friday, Aug 03, 2012

Full Contact Fighter’s “The Daily Takedown:” UFC’s Dana White Hops on the Bandwagon, Likes Invicta FC, Women’s MMA and Ronda Rousey

UFC President Dana White seems to have changed his stance on women's MMA thanks, in part, to fights like those that took place at Invicta FC last Saturday. Photo credit: Tracy Lee/Invicta FC

By Joshua Molina

What do you know? Ronda Rousey actually showed a female mixed martial artist and an Olympian some respect.  She wrote, “Huge congrats to @judo_kayla winning gold in women’s judo today!!!!.”

Kayla Harrison, 22, won the Olympic gold medal in Judo on Thursday. Harrison, who was sexually abused by her judo coach when she was 13, became the first female American to win the gold medal.

The feat broke Rousey’s record. The Strikeforce Bantamweight champion won a bronze medal in 2008. At the time, she was the first American win a medal in Judo.

Rousey has submitted all five of her opponents by first-round armbar. She will step into the hexagon cage against Canadian Sarah Kaufman Aug. 18 for the title.

The fighter in the past five months has emerged as the face of women’s MMA, surpassing Gina Carano as the sport’s most well-known female. She appeared nude in ESPN’s The Body Issue, insulted Michael Phelps and Kim Kardashian and suggested the Olympics were playgrounds for sexual debauchery.

But she just might go down as the woman who changed UFC boss Dana White’s mind on women’s MMA. At Thursday’s press conference for Saturday’s UFC on Fox show, White said he now could foresee promoting women’s MMA matches in the UFC.

He said he could foresee a day when there will be enough female fighters to put legit matches together in UFC. He also indirectly praised the recent Invicta FC all-women’s card.

“I think it’s a great thing,” White said. “That fact that there is a women’s show and it is happening consistently, you will get women training. You have to be able to make money. If women can make money, build their record, just like smaller MMA shows that happen all over the world, the more girls that continue to fight that continue to build records, the deeper the divisions will get.”

Not to anyone’s surprise, White also said, “I am a huge, huge, Ronda Rousey fan.” The only female fighters he said he knows are Rousey and Meisha Tate, the woman Rousey beat for the title in March.

“I don’t focus or pay attention on the women’s at all,” White said. “I don’t focus on it.”

Hard to believe that White has never heard of Cris Cyborg Santos, the wrecking machine who was suspended for a year for testing positive for performance enhancement drugs, who also appeared nude in last year’s The Body Issue. White also claimed to not know the date of the Rousey vs. Kaufman match on Aug. 18. Zuffa owns Strikeforce, which is promoting the fight.

Also at the press conference, White suggested that former undefeated Bellator champion Hector Lombard choked in his first UFC match because “You’re fighting at a whole new level here.”

Every time a fighter from another organization moves to the UFC and loses, White blames the loss on UFC’s supposed higher quality of fighters. Wonder what White will say if Strikeforce Grand Prix champion Daniel Cormier defeats UFC’s Frank Mir, when Mir moves over to Strikeforce later this year.

Saturday is UFC on FOX 4 at Staples Center, headlined by Mauricio “Shogun” Rua vs. Brandon Vera. Lyota Machida will also fight Ryan Bader. The fighter who “wins most impressively,” according to White, will get the light heavyweight title shot against the winner of the Jon Jones vs. Dan Henderson match.

The weigh-ins will take place at 4 p.m. PST today, and will be streamed live on the web.

Contact reporter Joshua Molina at jmolina@fcfighter.com. Or follow him on Twitter at https://twitter.com/JoshuaMolinaMMA




posted by FCF Staff @ 1:39 pm
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