UFC president Dana White explains his earlier “chauvinistic” views on female MMA!
Women’s MMA has come a long way since Dana White claimed that fans would “never” see female fighters in the UFC.
UFC is today home to several exciting and talented female fighters, but there was a time when White couldn’t even imagine allowing women to compete in the promotion. In a new episode of the podcast BASIC! When Cable Was Cool, White explained why he didn’t like the idea of women’s MMA initially, and what finally changed his mind.
“There’s a very famous clip of me on TMZ. I’m getting out of a restaurant in LA, and they’re asking me, ‘When are women going to fight in the UFC?’ And I look in the camera and I say, ‘Never,’” White said during the podcast. “At this time, I’m trying to get people to accept men fighting in a cage! Right?”
“I went to a fight up in northern California once, where there was a horrible mismatch between women. And I was like, ‘Oh, my god.’ And listen, I’m not gonna lie, there’s a little bit of that—being a man—little chauvinistic; in that, ‘Women are pretty, women are—you don’t wanna see women get beat up, you don’t wanna see—’ In a million years, I never saw this coming; where these women would be so technical, and so tough, and so badass. I mean, the women that we have now, in the UFC?
- Sean O’Malley roasts Toyota-driving UFC fighters: “Jealous!”
- Joe Rogan reveals what would make him leave the UFC: “That’s in my contract”
- Nate Diaz offered “a fan’s dream fight” against UFC veteran!
UFC superstar Ronda Rousey was too good to be denied!
It was none other than UFC superstar Ronda Rousey that changed White’s mind in the end. “Rowdy” Rousey had had major success in Strikeforce, but once she began her UFC journey she, in practically no time, established herself as one of the promotion’s biggest stars of all time.
“But the thing that changed everything was, I met Ronda Rousey,” White continued. “Ronda Rousey manifested all these things that have happened. And I had a meeting with her one day, and halfway through the meeting I’m like, ‘Holy shit, I think I’m gonna do this. And I think she’s the one to do it with.’ And thank God I was right.”
According to White, it was mainly the fans who opposed the idea of women in the UFC, whereas the team behind the promotion were all on board. The strongest reactions came when UFC opted to book Rousey as the headliner against Liz Carmouche at UFC 157. That was the first time White realised how limiting sexism in the sport could be for female fighters.
“I was getting these messages from people, like, ‘You piece of shit. You dah-dah-dah-dah-dah.’ I was like, ‘Oh my god!’ I never realized this existed because it’s never happened to me, you know what I mean?”
“So once I headlined Ronda Rousey I was like, ‘Wow, man.’ I never realized there would be this kind of blow-back from these lunatics out there. Then, that night, we were in Anaheim; when she walked out of that tunnel in that arena, I knew I made the right decisions. Sold out, two women fighting in a main event.”
Today, the UFC president regrets his earlier comments on female MMA.
“I have learned my lesson, believe me. I have learned my lesson. We live and learn, and I have learned. It’s true.”