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UFC President Dana White has apparently changed his mind about women fighting in the organization. TMZ is reporting that Ronda Rousey will be leaving Strikeforce to automatically become the the champion in UFC's 135 pound champion.
White probably changed his mind because he could see the huge financial benefit to bringing Rousey into the fold.
Rousey certainly has the credentials. In her amateur career the 25-year old Judo black belt won a gold medal at the 2004 World Junior Judo Championships in Budapest, Hungary at age 17. In April 2006, at age 19 she won the bronze medal at the Junior World Championships, becoming the first U.S. athlete ever to win two Junior World medals.
Ronda followed that up by winning the silver medal at the 2007 World Judo Championships in the middleweight division and the bronze medal at the 2007 Pan American Games.
She competed in the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, China and brought home a bronze medal.
Since turning pro in March 2011 she is 6-0, winning all of her fights in the first round via arm bars. She won the Strikeforce bantamweight belt in March 2012 when she defeated Miesha Tateby breaking her arm in a grudge match.
Rousey's popularity has only increased since she appeared in ESPN The Magazine's Body Issueearlier this year. Showing that she has the good looks to go along with her ring talent. A combination which makes her a big box office draw.
Since TMZ broke the news, Rousey has been non committal about fighting in the UFC.
"Seems totally cool," Rousey told ESPN. "I would like it to be that way. I haven't signed any bout agreements. I don't know exactly what's going on yet. I know just as much as everybody else knows right now."
Miesha Tate meanwhile has already Tweeted that she is looking forward to fighting in the UFC.
"So Stoked to be fighting for the @UFC it’s been a dream of mine for a long time! So happy it’s finally come true," wrote Tate.
Possible 2013 opponents for Rousey include Tate, Sara McMann and Cristiane Santos A.K.A. Cris Cyborg. A fight with Cyborg would be the most hyped match in the history on women's MMA.
Cyborg has been a wrecking machine in compiling a 10-1 professional record. She doesn't seem to have any weaknesses. However, on January 6, 2012, Santos tested positive for stanozolol, an anabolic steroid. As a result she was suspended for a year and fined $2,500.
Rousey has called Cyborg out for being a cheater and said she would only fight her if she comes down in weight from 145 pounds to 135.
"As long as she makes 135, I don't care if she's injecting horse s*men into her eyeballs but that’s the only way I feel it would be a fair fight," Rousey said on TSN Radio's The MMA Report with John Pollack. "She’s never had a fair fight in her life and I see how the prospect of that would scare the hell out of her and why she would insist at fighting heavier."
Cyborg has fired back in a recent interview by saying she would meet Rousey halfway and fight at 140 pounds. She points out that Rousey started at 145 pounds and is running from her. Cyborg said she would fight Rousey in a parking lot if necessary.
"I really want to punch her in the face," Cyborg said.
Meanwhile it looks like Strikeforce will be shutting down following it's January 2013 card, which will be shown on Showtime.
White has had a contentious relationship with Strikeforce ever since Zuffa purchased the organization in March 2011 for $40 million. White often refers to the company as "Strikefarce."
Shutting down Strikeforce is a bad move by Zuffa in my opinion. Not only did the organization put on quality fights, but it helped Zuffa by developing fighters who may not have been ready to fight in the UFC yet.
The UFC simply has too many fighters under contract and not enough events to showcase them all. Strikeforce was an outlet for some of those fighters.
I guess we will have to see how this all plays out.
Miesha Tate vs. Ronda Rousey fight. [Rousey breaks Tate's arm]
Cris Cyborg calls out Ronda Rousey
Ronda Rousey headed to the UFC
Cris Cyborg highlights