UFC President Dana Nixes Women's MMA in the UFC

posted by MarQFPR, a Women Talk Sports blogger
Thursday, January 20, 2011 at 12:36am EST

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UFC president Dana White & WMMA Icon Gina Carano  

It was Jan. 25, 2007 when I first asked UFC head Dana White the question “Will we see women in the UFC?” At that point in time, White said that there wasn’t enough fighters to develop a ladies’ division, and that there was no market for it. He would, however, consider it in a few years time.


Fast forward to the summer of 2009. White was thinking about bringing Gina Carano into the WEC before Carano finally made her home at Strikeforce in 2009.

“Gina Carano is a star,” White said in an interview with Calagary's  660News. “I think she’s talented. I think she’s got all the tools, so what I’m willing to do is bring Gina into the WEC. We could do fights whenever there’s a challenger for Gina. That’s how I’ll test the waters and see how it goes.”


Fast forward to May 2010. On “The Voice Vs…” on HDNet, UFC commentator Joe Rogan admitted to fellow commentator Michael Schiavello that he is in full support of women’s MMA (Video - 36:50 in). At times, Rogan does have his employer’s ear.


Fast forward to Jan. 18, 2011; four years later. After years of people campaigning and urging, White has finally put a kibosh on women’s MMA in the UFC to the TMZ cameras this week. The vocal White didn’t mince words when he said “Never” when answering the question if Women’s MMA would ever be in the UFC cage.


White has been critical of women’s MMA in the past few years. This isn’t anything new to mma fans, as some people consider White a male chauvinist. Part of this is people thinking that he feels women are good enough to hold a ring card, but not good enough to fight in a ring. His comments about how some mma fans just don’t want to see two women hit each other has also exacerbated the theory.

His earlier excuse to me about that there isn’t enough draw or talent for the division has changed in the past four years. With three very deep pro divisions in the 115, 125, and 135; plus over a couple of hundred women in the amateur ranks alone, depth cannot be a complaint.

As for ratings, Gina Carano vs. Cyborg Santos was one of the highest rated MMA matches in Strikeforce history; netting an estimated 856,000 viewers for Showtime. More recently, Amanda Nunes’s knockout of Julia Budd was the highest rated portion of the Showtime Challengers just a few weeks ago. In 2010, Sarah Kaufman made ESPN Top Plays of her slamming knockout of Roxanne Modafferi, and Zoila Frausto’s knockout of Rosi Sexton made the clip a Youtube sensation.

Who needs women’s mma in the UFC anyways? Strikeforce and Bellator are picking up what the UFC is missing; and reaping the benefits. It’s up to the UFC fans to open their eyes to other options.

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There are 2 comments on this post. Join the discussion!

NiamhG says:

I wish I could be surprised at this, really I do. But as a general rule of thumb men aren't too hot on women doing sports anyhow and for sports like this - where being masculine and strong is the ultimate kick - accepting that a woman can do it too, well that's probably a step too far. In my experience, the best male fighters don't have problems with women fighting, it's the non-so-good fighters or the non-competing fans whose egos are not able to deal with strong women in the ring. Thankfully there are promoters like those with Strikeforce who are able to step past that dated outlook.

Saturday, January 29, 2011 at 7:34am EST

Lisa Creech Bledsoe says:

I couldn't agree more. Dana White gets press because he's so inflammatory. Why bother with him? There are others who are smart enough to take advantage of the incredible power women bring to MMA.

Nice "hall of fame" section there at the end, MarQFPR.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011 at 1:02pm EST

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