By: Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief
UFC President Dana White has been very clear in the past about his thoughts on women's MMA in the UFC, but he's softened his stance this year thanks to the work of Ronda Rousey. The charismatic Strikeforce Women's Bantamweight Champion has become a star in her own right this year, taking out Miesha Tate in a heavily publicized bout in March, then defending that title in August against former Champion Sarah Kaufman.
Now, it's gone from just a possibility to an inevitability, as White said this week that women's MMA will eventually make its way to the UFC, with Rousey at the helm.
"It's absolutely going to happen," White said in an interview with SI.com.
White doesn't have a time frame for implementing a women's division, saying only that it "could happen tomorrow, it could happen a year from now... The point is I'm committed to this."
The hold up at this stage is Strikeforce. Rousey has three fights remaining on her deal with the organization, and even when it expires she'd be unable to go to the UFC as long as the organization is around. Strikeforce closing is the only thing that will allow those fighters to transition to the UFC.
Penick's Analysis: This isn't an entirely new stance, as he's been starting to turn his thinking around on women's MMA for the last several months. But he's gone from saying he could probably put Rousey on a card in a bout to saying "it's absolutely going to happen" to a women's division. That's a bigger statement than he's made on it in the past, and that's good for fans of women's MMA who would like to see them on the biggest stage in the sport.
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