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21 Humans Who Make Being Human Look Really, Really Hard

Tag: women’s UFC

Is Holly Holm As Valuable to the UFC as Her Manager Thinks She Is?


(Fresquez and Holm field questions after her win over Angela Hayes on Friday. / Photo via Getty)

By Mark Dorsey

Former world champion boxer Holly Holm is an MMA franchise. She’s a marquee star, a better face of the UFC women’s division than Ronda Rousey, and worth a six-figure contract — at least according to her manager, Lenny Fresquez, who has been making the media rounds lately trying to convince the public that his undefeated client is the only worthy challenger to Rousey’s belt.

Let’s get one thing straight: Calling Holly Holm a “franchise” is ludicrously premature. Georges St-Pierre and Anderson Silva are MMA franchises. Beyond that, the list gets very thin. In fact, the concept of franchise players is fading in every sport as the Lebron Jameses and Jacoby Ellsburys of the sports world show that their loyalty only extends to the highest free market bidder.

The argument could be made that UFC bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey is a franchise athlete. After all, Dana White has admitted that the UFC only created the women’s division because of her. But Holly Holm is not on the same level of recognizability as Rousey. Sure she was a big boxing draw in New Mexico, but being a regional draw does not translate to franchise-level success with a global brand like the UFC.

Chances are, not many outside of the hardcore MMA and boxing fanbase have even heard of Holly Holm. The Holly Holm brand might bring a few new eyeballs from the boxing world but she is certainly not selling a PPV on her own.

However, just because Holly Holm is not a “franchise” does not mean she wouldn’t make a great investment for the UFC’s fledgling women’s division. Holm is a fantastic athlete. Once considered by many as the best female boxer on the planet, she was twice named Ring Magazine’s female Fighter of the Year. Training under Greg Jackson and Mike Winkeljohn, she not only has the physical ability and attributes, she also has the right team around her to be a world champion in MMA.

It’s possible that Holm may one day be a UFC franchise athlete. She certainly has the potential to dominate a women’s division that is severely lacking in high-quality strikers. She could also develop into a legitimate MMA star. She’s personable, good looking and professional. However, she’s not there yet.

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Interview: New UFC Contender Jessica Eye Steps Up to the Big Leagues


(Photo via Keith Mills/Sherdog)

By Elias Cepeda

In case you hadn’t noticed, Jessica Eye has been a Bellator fighter for the past couple years. The flyweight/bantamweight had been signed to the organization since 2011 but, like other women on the roster, she had trouble getting fights with regularity.

Between Bellator appearances, Eye stayed busy by taking fights for the Ohio-based NAAFS league. But Eye knew that her time in Bellator was drawing to a close even before the promotion recently informed her that they were about to release her and all of their roster’s female fighters.

“I’m a smart woman so I knew something was up,” she chuckles.

“It was getting to the point where, if they didn’t get me my last fight in June, they would have soon been in breach of contract.”

Eye nonetheless managed to take on and beat marquee names such as Zoila Frausta Gurgel and Carina Damm (who botched a drug test moments before their fight), compiling a 10-1 record and seven-fight win streak since her pro debut in June 2010. At worst, Eye’s release from Bellator was bittersweet.

The MMA world was not at all surprised when the UFC quickly signed her to their bantamweight division and booked her against Sarah Kaufman, October 19th at UFC 166. The Cleveland fighter, however, never took the signing for granted.

“I’m 27 years old and that’s old enough to have learned that you shouldn’t assume anything,” Eye explains. “But I did have confidence that I had done enough in MMA that people had learned about me and that I would get picked up by the UFC.”

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Women in the UFC: Looking Back at the First Six Months, And What It Means for the Future


(Is the women’s bantamweight division still reliant on the star power of its champion? / Photo via Getty)

By Adam Martin

For years, UFC president Dana White was firmly against bringing women into the Octagon to fight in the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

In 2011, just two years ago, White told TMZ that women would “never” fight for his promotion. And yet now, in 2013, there are 15 women signed to a Zuffa contract and the UFC women’s bantamweight division is quickly becoming one of the promotion’s most crowd-pleasing weight classes.

So what changed?

The answer is simple: Ronda Rousey emerged as a superstar, and it’s Rousey that has singlehandedly brought women’s MMA into the mainstream — although White must be praised for giving her and other female fighters the platform to perform.

Now I really hate admitting this is the case, because I have been a fan of women’s fights ever since the HOOKnSHOOT days and I want to believe it was all of the women in sum putting on great fights that changed White’s mind, but it’s not a coincidence that White’s softened stance on allowing females to compete in the UFC coincided with Rousey’s unbeaten run to the top of the sport.

White, who is one of the smartest promoters in all of combat sports, was quick to realize Rousey could be a draw based on her good looks and vicious fighting style, and therefore make his company a lot of money, and the decision was made to bring her along with some other notable 135-pound females into the UFC earlier this year as a test drive of sorts.

And so far, the ride has been nothing but smooth.

UFC 157, which took place in February, featured not only the first women’s fight in UFC history but it was also the first UFC event to be headlined by two female fighters (Rousey and Liz Carmouche), and yet it did 450,000 PPV buys and a $1.35-million U.S. gate despite having a poor undercard. To the UFC, those numbers were a huge success and a slew of ladies were quickly signed by White and Co., who realized the fans loved Rousey vs. Carmouche and that they’d probably enjoy watching even more women fight.

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UFC Lady-Booking Update: Julie Kedzie vs. Germaine de Randamie Added to UFC on FOX 8 in July


(Julie Kedzie steals the show at the EliteXC: Destiny weigh-ins, while some creepy chick named Gina lurks in the background. / Photo via George Ruiz)

What the hell, guys…it’s like the UFC is actually assembling a real women’s bantamweight division, with contenders and prospects and even gatekeepers. Color us impressed. The UFC’s latest female fight-booking is veteran Jackson’s MMA product Julie Kedzie vs. Dutch kickboxer Germaine “The Iron Lady” de Randamie, both of whom spent time in Strikeforce before that organization’s collapse. As first revealed by FOX Sports, the two fighters will meet at UFC on FOX 8, July 27th in Seattle.

A decorated practitioner of the “Fuck This” fighting style (seriously), Kedzie has unfortunately lost her last two contests against Miesha Tate and Alexis Davis, which dropped her career record to 16-11. Since then, she’s kept busy as a member of the Invicta FC broadcast team, and according to Wikipedia, Kedzie is also Greg Jackson’s personal assistant.*

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How Ronda Rousey Losing This Weekend Could Actually Be the Best Thing for Women’s MMA


(Wow, we even got *Ronda’s* attention with that troll-headline. Photo via Neil Davidson/Canadian Press)

By ReX13

“Rowdy” Ronda Rousey has rocketed to fame as the latest “Face of Women’s MMA,” and she’s pushed awareness and enthusiasm for her sport to new heights. Now making history as the first female champion in the UFC, it’s entirely possible that the best thing that could happen to WMMA is for Ronda Rousey to lose.

Ronda Rousey made her pro debut two years ago this March, defeating a scary Brazilian lady very quickly via armbar. Since then, she’s burst into the mainstream consciousness — as much as she can inhabit the mainstream, competing in a fringe sport like MMA —and has almost single-handedly driven interest in women’s mixed martial arts competition. Her background as a lifelong judoka and Olympic medalist immediately establishes her a legitimate athlete, while her looks have won her a bit of extra hype.  Not that the hype was undeserved: Rousey has demolished her competition, notching six straight first-round stoppages by armbar.

That dominance is what gained her the attention of the man who previously maintained that he had no interest in female cage-fighting. After gaining control of a double-handful of women’s contracts when Zuffa obtained rival promotion Strikeforce, Dana White couldn’t help but change his mind about gender-equality in the Octagon. Rousey was pushing attendance, she was a moneymaker, and White chases money like a Kardashian chases famous dick: single-mindedly, without shame, and intent to take it all in. That he would also be cockblocking (snirk) another promotion by denying them the most marketable fighters in the market would just be icing on the cake.

And make no mistake: that’s exactly what’s going on here. What may at first seem like a boon for female fighters — the increased visibility of the world’s top MMA promotion in the UFC — also has the effect of skimming the top talent from the free agent pool and keeping them from Invicta Fighting Championships, a promotion that’s actually dedicated to the advancement of the women’s division.

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Miesha Tate vs. Cat Zingano Booked for TUF 17 Finale on 4/13


(MY GOD DEM ARMS. NOT SURE IF WANT. / Photo via allelbows)

No matter how Ronda Rousey‘s UFC 157 title fight against Liz Carmouche turns out, at least one more women’s bout will take place in the UFC this year — and it’s a good one, too. UFC officials confirmed today that former Strikeforce women’s bantamweight champ Miesha Tate will make her Octagon debut at the Ultimate Fighter 17 finale (April 13th, Las Vegas), where she’ll face 7-0 prospect Cat “Alpha” Zingano.

A native of Broomfield, Colorado, Zingano’s most recent appearance was at Invicta FC 3 last October, where she submitted Raquel Pennington by second-round rear-naked choke. Prior to that fight, Zingano pulled off a body-slam KO against Takayo Hashi, TKO’d Carina Damm, and won Ring Of Fire titles at bantamweight and flyweight. In other words, this lady is serious business. And forget Cris Cyborg — Zingano is probably the most absurdly-jacked female fighter we’ve seen since Rin Nakai.

So will Zingano be successful in her UFC debut, or will she suffer the blankety wrath of Takedown Tate? Shoot us your prediction — as well as your general interest level in this fight — in the comments section.

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Dana White Confirms UFC Signing of Ronda Rousey; Debut Date/Opponent Still TBA


(Props: Ronda Rousey’s Facebook page)

Confirming earlier reports that Ronda Rousey had become the first woman to be signed by the UFC, Dana White went on the Jim Rome Show today to make an official announcement:

Yes, it’s official. Ronda Rousey did sign with the UFC…Over the next two years, we’ve got really good opponents for her.”

White also brought up the hottie/murderer dichotomy that makes her so oddly compelling to him:

“She’s beautiful,” White said. “But deep down inside, she’s a killer.”

Rousey also let the cat out of the bag on Twitter, writing: “Okay I admit it…I’m officially a @ufc fighter :) SO excited! Can’t wait to debut! Let @danawhite know who you want my 1st opponent to be!”

Well…about that. It’s probably not going to be Cris Cyborg, and the only other woman who has reportedly been signed by the UFC is Miesha Tate — and I don’t see an immediate rematch of that massacre in anybody’s future. So who else is there? Want to give us any hints about these “really good opponents,” Dana? Sara McMann…where you at, girl?

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Gina Carano Claims Not To Care About Money, Despite Glaring Evidence to the Contrary

Gina Carano
(This pose yielded very different results during the Robbie Lawler shoot.)

Gina Carano and Ariel Helwani continued their star-crossed romance in an interview for MMA Fanhouse, mixing friendly banter with actual questions about when the hell we’ll see Carano fight someone.  Long story short, it’s going to be in Strikeforce, eventually, but they’re still working out the details.  One would assume that the major detail in question is money.  Carano was working extremely cheap for Elite XC, and now she has the chance to hold Scott Coker over the coals and really stack that paper, son.  Only Carano claims – get this – that money is not a big deal to her:

Frankly, I am absolutely unmotivated by money. And I know that maybe people take that and don’t understand what that means, but I am just not. What I am interested in is people that have respect. Not only respect for me, but people who have respect for women in MMA. So, the better that I can do for myself and the better I represent myself – which I have to work on all of this, by the way – the better it is for the sport.

Now I’m no business mastermind, but if I were to write a book about how to negotiate a contract the first chapter would be entitled: “Don’t Publicly Claim That You Aren’t Interested In Being Paid Lots of Money.”  The second chapter would be called: "The Power of Blackmail," so now you know why I’m not writing that book. 

But even if you’re willing to believe that Carano is the kind of idealist who doesn’t want to get paid as much as she possibly can for doing a dangerous and difficult job that has a very limited window of opportunity, then you have to find a way to reconcile that Gina Carano with this Gina Carano:

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