Just a few years ago, the head of UFC laughed at the idea of women competing in the Championship. But within a year, Dean White changed his mind when he saw Ronda Rousey fight. The Olympic gold medalist smashed the glass ceiling in the mixed martial arts world and the UFC brought in women’s bantamweight division to give her a chance to prove her mettle.
Women have been a part of MMA for a while, but they never had the spotlight like Rousey. Her compelling backstory, her personality, and aggressiveness brought out a whole new side of MMA and now the sport is gaining attention for its female fighters.
Gina Carano, one of the pioneers in female MMA fighters was excited to see Rousey v/s Carmouche as the main event at UFC 157. She recalled the time when she used to be one of two women in the UFC stands hoping that one day, everyone would turn out to watch a female fight as the main event.
Like Rousey, Carano was also a path breaker. She trained in Muay Thai and then competed in Strikeforce and EliteXC promotions. After her training, she took part in the first edition of women’s World Extreme Fighting against Leiticia Pestova.
Rousey reigned as a champion for three years at UFC until her bout with Holly Holm. AT UFC 193, Rousey lost the fight. She was also barred from fighting for a few months for medical reasons. She came back to the octagon a year later. But she lost the fight in under a minute.
Though Rousey lost those fights, it was a good thing for the female fighters as a whole. It allowed other female athletes to come up and take the spotlight and encourage millions of others to work hard and try out MMA.