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Dana White Will Change His Mind About Women 'Never' in the UFC

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One of those camera-toting TMZ reporters who follows celebrities around and questions them as they're getting into their limos recently caught up with UFC President Dana White for a 19-second interview that you can watch here.

White briefly confirmed that heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez is doing well in his recovery from surgery, then was asked, "When are we going to see women in the UFC?"

White replied, "never."

Fortunately for those of us who want to see women in the Octagon, White has shown in the past that "never" does not mean what he thinks it means.

White himself has acknowledged that his "nevers" often don't last. Before James Toney stepped into the Octagon, White said, "I said I would never put on a freak show. I'm putting on a freak show."

Other examples of White going back on his "never in the UFC" words: When Karo Parisyan pulled out of his UFC 106 fight, White declared he would never fight in the UFC again. When B.J. Penn spurned the UFC to go fight in Japan in 2004, White told him he'd never fight in the UFC again. When Chuck Liddell was knocked out by Shogun Rua, White said Liddell would never fight in the UFC again.

So what makes me think women in the UFC will some day be added to the list of Dana White "nevers" that weren't really nevers?

The primary reason is financial. Right now, there's not a female actively fighting who could make a big enough difference to the UFC's bottom line for the UFC to sign her. But there was a time, just a couple of years ago, when Gina Carano was becoming popular enough that White and Lorenzo Fertitta contacted her about possibly entering the Octagon. That didn't work out, and right now there's no female draw comparable to Carano in 2009, but there's no reason another female fighter couldn't gain enough popularity outside the UFC to make White want to see her in the UFC.

But there's another reason I think White will change his mind: Giving women a shot in the UFC is simply the right thing to do.

You could say White was motivated solely by the bottom line when he booked fights for Toney, Liddell and Penn, but when White decided to give Parisyan another chance in the UFC, he wasn't doing it for financial reasons: Parisyan wasn't a big draw, and his UFC 123 fight was scheduled for the un-aired preliminary card. White gave Parisyan another chance not because Parisyan mattered to the UFC's bottom line, but simply because he thought Parisyan deserved another chance.

Eventually, I think White will come to feel the same way about women's MMA. He'll see that the best female fighters train as hard as the best male fighters and that they're as dedicated to the sport as male fighters, and he'll figure that the best of the best deserve a shot on the biggest stage.

I don't think it's going to happen this year, probably not next year and maybe not even in five years. But women will fight in the UFC some day.

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