Now that the inevitable has finally taken place, the dissolving of Strikeforce, women finally seem to have a place in the UFC. Or at least Ronda Rousey does. Ronda Rousey is surely a star who has the rare ability to transcend the MMA world. The UFC is doing the logical thing in attempting to capitalize on her star power under their brand. But what about these other women the UFC is supposed to employ? Dana White said himself that WMMA is not deep enough to fill out entire weight classes worth of a women’s roster. To Zuffa, promoting a women’s fight is most likely only beneficial in a one off situation where Rousey, Meisha Tate or Cyborg are fighting. They are the few women fighters who have proven to be a draw thus far.
There are a number of other issues that come with importing 25-30 women (at least) to help fill out that side of the roster. First, you would have to find these women fights, which most likely would often be on the prelims, and pay them. Secondly, with the sudden influx of new talent, Zuffa would have to trim the UFC roster elsewhere. And while I do agree some of the fighters at the bottom of the roster may not belong in the UFC, this is something that would compromise the brand’s commitment to growth. It would also make the task of putting on upwards of 30 shows in 2013 much more difficult.
These potential problems need a solution and Zuffa could take a cue from their soon dissolving property in Strikeforce. The UFC should form a fighter sharing partnership with Invicta. The upsides are there for both sides. The UFC can still have Ronda Rousey and the other large one off fights to promote under their umbrella. They can do so without having to employ an entire women’s roster. Invicta will benefit from the exposure their fighters will get when fighting under the UFC brand. The UFC would help see to it that Invicta thrives because without it, the growth of WMMA would very likely be stunted. A partnership such as this has the potential to help both promotions flourish.
I present this suggestion not as a way to keep WMMA down, but help continue its growth. I would hate to see it drown under the UFC’s need to cash in on one name fighter.