She’s proving that women in this sport can be as profitable as men.
That’s all it would take for Ronda Rousey to successfully defend her UFC women’s bantamweight championship against Cat Zingano in the main event of UFC 184.
Her last three fights (against Zingano, Alexis Davis and Sara McMann), have gone for a combined 1 minute and 36 seconds.
She is undefeated – the first and only UFC women’s bantamweight champion boasting an 11-0 record. Some have called her the “Mike Tyson of Mixed Martial Arts.”
UFC President Dana White believes it himself, telling the media:
“She is – without a doubt – that female version of him…there’s very few situations where a fight goes 14 seconds and the crowd is cheering and going crazy, looking at each other with their mouths open,” he told mmafighting.com.
Ronda is a box office attraction and guaranteed money earner for female fight promotion. According to Mixed Martial Arts journalist Ariel Helwani, Ronda’s recent event bought in $3 million from the gate alone.
The 28-year-old sells out arenas and sells pay-per-views, and has even earned herself movie roles in Hollywood, featuring in The Expendables 3. She will also feature in the upcoming Entourage and Fast 7 movies.
The young American isn’t afraid to have an edge or to be controversial. Her snubbing the outstretched hand of rival Miesha Tate after their long-awaited fight at UFC 168 drew boos from the crowd, which Ronda had little problem with. Her success has also proven the notion that ‘women don’t rate’ and are ‘commercially unviable’ to be wrong.
Ronda has proven that women in sport can be profitable. She has proven that with the right promotion and presentation of women’s Mixed Martial Arts, women’s sport can be viable commercially.
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Nailing the point perfectly, Dana said recently at a sponsor event: “Ronda is showing little girls everywhere that they can play anywhere they want to.”
Dana was part of the first women’s fight in UFC history on February 23, 2013. It was a fight between Ronda and Liz Carmouche. While the doubters believed nobody would pay for a female main event, the event was judged a success with 457,000 sales, comparing very favourably to other all male events.