Today’s Ultimate Fighting Championships (UFC) press conference previewed the event that is expected to see the biggest crowd in Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) history.
The stigma surrounding MMA is rapidly dissipating.
This is partly because the 193rd instalment of the UFC will headline two female title fights.
The current and undisputed UFC Bantamweight Champion, “Rowdy” Ronda Rousey, will defend her title against 19-time world champion boxer, Holly “The Preacher’s Daughter” Holm.
In a male-dominated sport, Rousey is challenging the biology of the MMA realm with her “don’t be a Do Nothing Bitch” attitude.
ESPN recently named her as the best sportswoman in the world, overtaking Serena Williams.
Rousey is proving to be more than just a role model for Mixed Martial Artists, she’s also a role model for women around the world.
Rousey, who is constantly striving for gender equality, said it’s as simple as taking the word ‘woman’ out of it.
“I don’t hear them saying ‘men’s this, men’s that, or men’s conference’. People aren’t here today because they love women, they’re here because they love fighting,” Rousey said at the press conference.
“I’m the Bantamweight Champion, [Jedrzejczyk] is the Strawweight Champion. The fact that we’re women is obvious, it doesn’t need to be said.”
UFC President, Dana White, said that Rousey made him take ‘women’s’ out of the Bruce Buffer announcement.
“It’s not the women’s Bantamweight Championship anymore, it is just Bantamweight Championship,” he said.
Rousey is the highest-paid UFC fighter in the world.
“Dana doesn’t pay me the most because he wanted to do something nice for the ladies, I get paid the most because I bring in the highest numbers, I make them the most money,” Rousey said.
Rousey admits she has a lot of respect for Holm, who is arguably the most humbled challenger Rousey has faced.
As Holm has the reach advantage, Rousey explains that she needs to be more methodical in her approach to the fight.
“That being said, she’s 19-time world boxing champ, not MMA world champion. I believe I’m better than every other girl in every area of MMA,” Rousey said.
For the haters of MMA, Rousey said it only speaks to their ignorance of the sport.
Although she’s as physically strong as a man, she told The Project she’d never be a part of a competition where a man was being cheered for hitting a woman.
Valerie “Trouble” Letourneau will challenge Joanna Jedrzejczyk for the Strawweight title.
UFC193 is the card that would have occurred in Vegas in January.
The headline fighters for Melbourne’s first UFC event were originally between the Welterweight division’s Robbie Lawler and Carlos Condit.
When asked if bringing Rousey to Melbourne would draw a larger crowd, White tells upstart they had to produce big names for such a huge event.
“Robbie Lawler has just come off one of the greatest fights anyone’s ever seen. A lot of people were really excited about the Condit VS Lawler fight. So when that fight fell off, I knew we had to come back with guns blazing,” he says.
“So, I called [Rousey] and she accepted the fight.”
For women to be headlining such a major sporting event is a juxtaposition to what’s seen on face value, as a blood sport with pretty girls.
Fortunately, this is rapidly reducing the negative connotations associated with the sport.
UFC193 will be held on 15 November at Etihad Stadium.
Stephanie Atkins is in her final year of a Bachelor of Journalism degree at La Trobe University. You can follow her on Twitter: @_steph_atkins_.