Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Let's not get too excited about women in the UFC

Last night, Melissa Segura of Sports Illustrated quoted UFC president Dana White as saying that there will be women in the UFC. Though it is encouraging to see it in print, the article was published without any context. For one thing, White has said similar things in media scrums for a while now. So for those of us who follow this story closely, it's old news. And the article doesn't mention Showtime which is the main obstacle to women, or more specifically, Ronda Rousey, fighting in the UFC. It's wrong to report things like you're in a vacuum.Obviously because White is infatuated with Ronda, she will fight in the UFC. But nothing has changed with Strikeforce and Showtime so it ain't happening for a while. And it remains to be seen if White will commit to women's MMA or just Ronda. I have my doubts. It's all up to Showtime. If they pick up the option to extend their Strikeforce contract until 2014, there is nothing that Zuffa can do about it. Why it is assumed they won't pick up that option contradicts history. MMA has been on Showtime since 2007. And with everything they have had to deal with from EliteXC's bankruptcy to having to do business with a company they don't like very much, meaning Zuffa, it's obvious that the value of providing MMA to their subscribers far outweighs the shortcomings. If that wasn't true, Showtime wouldn't have renewed the Strikeforce contract last year. Zuffa has no one to blame but themselves for this situation. Shortsightedness tends to catch up to you in the fight business. So don't get too excited. We will see women in the UFC...someday.

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