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Dana White Warming to WMMA, but Same Issues Still Exist

UFC president Dana White has definitely warmed up to the idea of hosting women’s MMA bouts under the UFC banner, especially since promoter’s dream Ronda Rousey burst onto the scene.

However, he still points to the same issue when expressing his trepidation over including women’s MMA in the UFC brand: there simply aren’t enough top-flight female competitors to sustain a division. Speaking after last week’s UFC on FX 3: Johnson vs. McCall 2 event, White sounded more open to hosting WMMA fights than he ever has, but he didn’t hold back on expressing the reasons that keep him hesitant to drop the hammer.

“I think there could be (WMMA fights in the UFC),” White said. “My thing with the female fighting is — I love Ronda Rousey, man. She’s as tough and as nasty as it comes. I love Ronda, but I think Ronda is one of those girls that’s up here. And you have a lot of girls who compete in the sport that aren’t at her level. It’s not about having women’s fights. It’s about having enough good women in a division.

“I think after you’ve seen these two (Demetrious Johnson and Ian McCall) fight, and you know Benavidez, you know who the top three (flyweight) fighters are in the world, and then there’s a whole list of guys under them. We don’t have that in the women’s divisions, that’s the problem,” he went on. “And if there was – the Tate-Ronda Rousey fight was awesome. It was a great fight between two great female fighters and if you had a whole division full of them, there’s a lot you could do, but…”

Currently, most of the best female fighters in the world reside in Strikeforce, which Zuffa now (partially) controls. If or when the UFC absorbs the promotion, as many expect, it is feasible that they could bring the female fighters into the fold. The chances of that actually happening increase greatly the more that the women’s divisions fill out with legitimate contenders.


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