No one could have seen this coming three years ago. I know I certainly didn’t, and you, too, probably saw it as impossible. Heck, even Dana White said it would never happen (“Women will never fight in the UFC“). Yet on Saturday night we all sat and witnessed the President of the company’s face illuminate red as he argued to rescue his prize fighter from herself.
Saving fighters from placing themselves in danger isn’t a rare feat for White. As a matter of fact, he did so earlier that night by cancelling the Stefan Struve – Matt Mitrione bout after Struve passed out in the locker room. But keeping a female fighter from committing to headline another pay per view in four weeks was new. Especially one who had just ripped open a cyst on her knuckle and was lined up for minor knee surgery soon.
But this woman just is not normal.
I won’t even taint it by calling her the female Mike Tyson, because she is simply becoming the UFC’s Mike Tyson. If you blink twice the fight could be over like Iron Mike bouts in the mid 80s and early 90s. And if you think I’m wrong just check out her six victories in under a minute, including her 16-second demolition of what was supposed to be her toughest title opponent in Alexis Davis.
Also keep in mind that only one of her 10 fights actually made it out of the first round and you see why the women’s Bantamweight champion, Ronda Rousey, has turned into the most popular face in mixed martial arts — even on the rare occasion when she’s booed.
While the 27-year-old judoka is nowhere near the level of pugilist as Tyson, they both go about using their weapons in a similar way — starting with their stone-faced walk through the crowd that seems to menace their opponents from the moment they see them draped in all black. But once the fight begins, her judo flip becomes his uppercut and her armbar his left hook. Meaning that her go-to combinations are likely to beat the woman standing in front of her in less time than it takes to tie two pairs of shoes. Plus it doesn’t hurt that she’s box-office in and outside the cage, with roles in the Fast & Furious franchise and the “Expendables 3” — something Tyson did not truly master until his boxing career was dead and gone.
Give it a few more years and the No. 10 — overall — pound-for-pound fighter in the UFC could be sitting comfortably in the mystique of the moniker of “Baddest Person On the Planet,” male or female.