It appears as though doctors may have nixed what would undoubtedly be the biggest fight in women’s MMA history before the hype train even began rolling.
Although it appears as though the UFC would love to make a bout between Strikeforce 135-pound champion Ronda Rousey (pictured) and 145-pound champion Cris Santos as women will apparently be part of the UFC mix in 2013, doctors have told Santos that a cut to 135 pounds would not be healthy and that it could cause her physical harm. Rousey has also said that she is unwilling to return to 145 pounds to make the super fight happen.
So what does this mean for women in the UFC? Of course the biggest money fight would be between these two, and it could conceivably headline a UFC card all on its own. Rousey is a big star in her own right, but every star needs a foil and rival in order to keep fans interested. Ali had Frazier, Magic had Larry, etc.
Rousey is the biggest star in women’s MMA and her ascension to mainstream stardom has certainly been a key cog in Dana White and Co. agreeing to bring the women over to the UFC, something White said would “never happen” less than a year ago. There’s also the possibility that the women could get lost in the shuffle. With the organization still trying desperately to build the 145 and 135 classes that they brought over from the WEC as well as the new 125-pound class, it might make it difficult for women to gain a foothold in what is already a backlogged organization.
But one thing is for certain: there is definitely a market for women’s MMA, and the UFC will do everything it can to still make this fight happen. Whether it’s Rousey moving up to 145 pounds or the two agreeing to meet in the middle, this fight is probably bound to happen sooner rather than later. It’s time to strike while the iron is hot for women’s MMA.
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