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GAME-CHANGER: Ronda Rousey Becomes the UFC’s First Female Fighter; Strikeforce to Fold After January 12th Title Tripleheader

Two pieces of related news broke last night that have massive implications for the future of MMA. First, Strikeforce superstar Ronda Rousey has reportedly become the first female fighter to join the UFC, and will immediately be crowned the UFC’s 135-pound women’s champion. The news was broken by TMZ, and confirmed by MMAFighting with sources close to the promotion, although neither the UFC nor Rousey have released an official statement. No word on Rousey’s promotional debut date or opponent, though her old pal Miesha Tate will apparently be a part of the UFC’s budding women’s roster as well.

It’s a historic moment for the sport, and one that’s surprising in how quickly it came together. In less than two years, we went from women will “never” be in the UFC, to women’s MMA is “absolutely going to happen” in the UFC, and much of the credit for that can be given to Rousey herself, whose nasty grappling and dude-in-a-beautiful-body appeal charmed UFC president Dana White into evolving his opinion.

Clearly, the promotion can make money off of the former Olympic medalist. The question is, who is she going to fight, and exactly how committed is the UFC to women’s MMA? Will the UFC be doing its best to fill out multiple weight divisions and regularly put female fighters on its cards, or is this just going to be the Ronda Rousey Show, with “Rowdy” armbarring whoever they can find to fight her, in relatively meaningless exhibitions three times a year? More details are expected to be announced early next week, which may shed some more insight on the UFC’s longer-term goals with their new acquisition.

And that brings us to the second bit of major news, which might even be more well-received, considering how long we’ve been begging for it

Though it hasn’t been confirmed yet, reports indicate that Strikeforce will be folding after their next show. After Strikeforce’s last two events were canceled due to poorly-timed injuries to main-event fighters, Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker promised fans a “stacked” card in january to make up for it. And yes, that event will be stacked (at least by Strikeforce’s standards), but it also could be the promotion’s last hurrah.

Slated for Saturday, January 12th, at the Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, the card will feature the following bouts:

- Gilbert Melendez defending his lightweight title against Pat Healy; the two were originally supposed to face off in September, before Melendez suffered an injury in training.

- Luke Rockhold defending his middleweight title against Lorenz Larkin, who won his 185-pound debut against Robbie Lawler in July.

- Nate Marquardt defending his welterweight title against Tarec Saffiedine, who has won decisions in his last three outings.

- Daniel Cormier fulfilling his contract obligations against Dutch veteran Dion Staring. Yep. That’s the best they could do.

If Strikeforce is indeed kaput after the January show, some of these guys could be fighting to remain employed by Zuffa, which could make the vibe at the Chesapeake Energy Arena even more somber than it would be already. It’ll be a weird night, full of title fights that don’t mean jack shit, and the sense of impending doom. But hey, it’s what we all wanted, right?

Cagepotato Comments

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fgfhfdgdfg- November 13, 2012 at 6:32 am
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ArmFarmer- November 9, 2012 at 10:07 pm
Tate > Rousey. There are a lot of pro female fighters hotter than Rousey.
Mr_Misanthropy- November 9, 2012 at 7:39 pm
Ronda's got some mannish ass fore-arms. Probably got a kung-fu grip like a milk machine
Mr_Misanthropy- November 9, 2012 at 3:09 pm
I thought it was Rousey making the necessary sacrifices for WOMMBA but now I believe that the evidence shows Rousey smashed Dana's ass in the back office and made him her bitch. Ronda's got some swoll ass fallopia, yo.
holeeball- November 9, 2012 at 1:50 pm
Rousey is the hottest at her level what's so fucking hard to understand?
dipsetkilla316- November 9, 2012 at 1:40 pm
Fag farmer lol
dipsetkilla316- November 9, 2012 at 1:40 pm
Bro im not in school and this isnt an english grammer test and i see u still havent tucked in ur virgina
dipsetkilla316- November 9, 2012 at 1:38 pm
I said kinda hot
ArmFarmer- November 9, 2012 at 1:30 pm
I see dipset still hasn't discovered the period or comma keys on his keyboard... Also, Rhonda is a pretty girl, but she is far from hot. Apparently being famous can make any 6 a 10...
shatterproof- November 9, 2012 at 9:42 am
Tate. Book it. Also, dipsetkilla316: Ronda's not hot. Rais your standards boy. That is all.
BlueDaBaDee- November 9, 2012 at 9:36 am
Gegard Mousasi vs. James Te Huna must happen asap
holeeball- November 9, 2012 at 9:13 am
Sex sells and I'm buying so bug off with your mechanical fetish I want the real thing.
dipsetkilla316- November 9, 2012 at 8:55 am
Yo who the fuck is this teep fag u nothing about mma to say that
dipsetkilla316- November 9, 2012 at 8:55 am
Hell yea hell yea a thousand times hell yea if u dont enjoy watching her fight ur not a mma fan and no offense to cyborg but its hard to market her couse she looks like a chimp on roids ronda is kinda hot and a devastating fighter she should co main a ppv or main event a fox show i would go with the fox thing couse its a great way to get ppl that dont real no her to find out wat shes all about im so excited to see her in the ufc she totally deserves it
Meister574- November 9, 2012 at 7:53 am
You want to increase TUF ratings? Rousey vs. Tate. Not only will it build up the stock of female MMA fighters (like they did with weight classes), but the house drama will be completely different.
Fried Taco- November 9, 2012 at 7:49 am
Invicta is feeling the pressure now!!!
teep- November 9, 2012 at 7:41 am
Who did she have to sleep with to get this job?
Big Daddy Duker- November 9, 2012 at 6:36 am
Staring's record doesn't look bad. Oh wait, he LOST to a guy named "Can." Bad omen...
Vera- November 9, 2012 at 6:35 am
Vera- November 9, 2012 at 6:33 am
Two things Enrico....Cyborg is a cheat and doesnt deserve it and she doesnt gight in that weight class anyway!
Enricho Palazzo- November 9, 2012 at 6:16 am
Oh uh...never mind that part about handing the belt to someone who was at least a champion...
Enricho Palazzo- November 9, 2012 at 6:10 am
How about sign 5 more 135-pound female fighters and have a tournament to determine the first Female UFC Champion at 135lbs? Why hand the belt to ANYONE on a silver platter? If you're going to just hand someone a belt, sign Cyborg. She was at least a champion.
Enricho Palazzo- November 9, 2012 at 6:15 am
Oh, uh...disregard. I forgot Ronda was a titleholder too.
Enricho Palazzo- November 9, 2012 at 6:13 am
Oh, uh....never mind. Ronda was a champion too.