Several months ago when it was announced that the UFC had signed breakout star Ronda Rousey, people immediately began to speculate that the organization was only planning to promote her, and not a full fledged women’s MMA division. The future of women in the UFC seemed to depend on her success or failure. Quite frankly, the UFC didn’t do much to calm those fears until just recently.
Dana White has acknowledged that Ronda Rousey was the catalyst for making a 135-pound division, but said that it would be more than just about her. He may have said it, but few believed it until they began to sign several other women. Finally, it appears it can be said the UFC is showing a real commitment to adding a legitimate women’s division.
Rousey will be defending her title against Liz Carmouche in the main event of UFC 157 next week in Anaheim, Calif. Additionally, as has been speculated previously, Cat Zingano has been signed to fight Miesha Tate. That contest will take place at the TUF 17 Finale which takes place in April.
During a UFC 157 media conference call on Tuesday, it was announced by UFC Director of Communications Dave Sholler, that those four women would be joined in the 135-pound division by newly signed Alexis Davis and Sara McMann. Sholler would not say whether Davis and McMann would be facing each other, but that seems likely at this point.
Sara McMann (6-0) has similar credentials as Ronda Rousey, without all the hoopla. A former Olympian who also has yet to lose in MMA, she won a silver medal in Olympic freestyle wrestling during the 2004 Games. Most recently, she has competed for Invicta FC.
Alexis Davis (13-5) has been on a roll of late. She has won five of her last six fights, with only a majority decision loss to Sarah Kaufman adding a blemish to her record. Most recently she defeated Shayna Baszler at Invicta FC 4 in a very exciting contest.
Adding these extra women allows the UFC some room to start lining up contenders for Rousey should she come through unscathed against Liz Carmouche. All four ladies would provide credible tests to her as she continues along the path to what Dana White and the UFC hopes is greatness. It will be interesting going forward to see how these signing will affect Invicta FC.