Dana White Responds To Backlash Towards Rousey: ‘She’s The Reason Women Fight in UFC’
“Hate her or not,” UFC President Dana White said about women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey, “the reason all these girls fight in the UFC is because of her.” White responded to the criticism Rousey has received after her coaching role on the latest season of the UFC’s realitiy-television show, ‘The Ultimate Fighter.’
By Christopher Murphy @MurphMMA
Ronda Rousey, the UFC women’s bantamweight champion, is enigmatic, to say the least. She burst onto the amateur scene in 2010, defeating three opponents via first-round armbar – an impressive homage to her becoming the first American woman to win an Olympic medal in Judo in the 2008 Beijing games.
Then Rousey began fighting professionally, defeating her first four opponents, again by first-round armbar submissions, and earning a shot at the Strikeforce title. She would go on to defeat then-Strikeforce champion, Miesha Tate, defend her title against Sarah Kaufman, and later fight in the first-ever women’s bout in the UFC for the UFC women’s bantamweight champion against Liz Carmouche. Rousey defeated all three of those women by first-round armbars.
So to say Ronda Rousey is something of an enigma is simply fact, given her abilities inside the cage. It is no wonder UFC President Dana White was so vocal in praising Rousey as being the reason women fight in the UFC. But if you ask White, it is her presence outside of the ring that is even more crucial to her importance for the sport than her performances inside the cage.
“We wouldn’t have done it without Ronda,” White said at a media-scrum following this weekend’s UFC Fight Night 32. “I wouldn’t have even done it without Ronda. You could line up all the greatest girls on earth from here to fucking Pluto. And she’s the one that when I met her, I said this chick is insanely competitive and just a different animal. She’s what it took to get women in the UFC. Hate her or not, the reason all these girls fight in the UFC is because of her.
“In the beginning everyone said I had a crush on Ronda Rousey. Are you fucking serious? Yeah, I had a crush on her so I started women’s MMA in the UFC,” White said sarcastically. “Gina Carano was hot too, you didn’t see me bringing her into the UFC. Ronda Rousey is a different animal. She’s a different animal, I’m telling you. And I know her a lot better than all of you do.”
As for the negative backlash Rousey has received from fans following her role as coach on this most recent season of “The Ultimate Fighter,” White simply does not care.
“It’s not the way she portrayed herself; it’s who she is… The thing is, with her and Miesha, she hates Miesha Tate. When she and Cat Zingano were gonna be the coaches [on TUF], you heard them talk on the podium, the mutual respect. She hates Miesha Tate. Hates her. And anyone who’s ever hated somebody before knows how that feels. I’ve hated a few people in my life so I know how that feels. Yes, when you hate somebody, you might stoop low and do some things that make you look like a jackass. But, oh well.”
The hatred between Rousey and Tate began during the promotion for their first bout against one another in Strikeforce. It has grown even stronger during the past weeks on “The Ultimate Fighter,” and Rousey’s behavior drew criticism from many fans.
Fortunately for everyone, Tate and Rousey will be fighting again as they co-headline UFC 168 on December 28 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.