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Dana White: Ronda Rousey co-headlining 'has nothing to do with her not being a star'

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Esther Lin

As far as UFC president Dana White is concerned, Ronda Rousey as a co-headliner is simply a technicality.

Rousey's UFC women's bantamweight title defense against Cat Zingano will go on second-to-last at Staples Center in Los Angeles on Feb 28. The UFC middleweight title fight between Chris Weidman and Vitor Belfort will headline the event.

But White told UFC.com on Thursday that the reason for this is purely functional: When there is more than one title fight on a card, the lower weight class goes first; the higher one second.

"It has nothing to with her not being a star. It goes by weight," White said. "If she was the highest weighted champion on the card, she would be the main event, but you have two guys that are middleweights and she weighs 135 pounds - so she's the co-main."

For nearly a decade, the UFC followed a policy of the heavier weight going on last for fight cards with multiple title bouts, with the exception of interim title fights, which go on first regardless of weight class. However, there have been occasional exceptions, most recently UFC 169, when the Jose Aldo vs. Ricardo Lamas featherweight title fight went on before the Renan Barao vs. Urijah Faber bantamweight title bout.

White also claimed he was putting on a loaded show at Staples Center to make up for the cancelation of the scheduled Jose Aldo-Chad Mendes fight in August.

"The last L.A. / Staples Center fight we had with Aldo killed it. Ticket sales were awesome and then we had to shut that thing down," White said. "I just wanted to bring a great card back to L.A. Now we have Weidman versus Belfort and Ronda versus Cat."