A year ago when Dana White was asked about Women fighting in the UFC, his usual, succinct response was something like 'No Way' or 'Never'. Press him on the matter and he'd give you his well rehearsed routine of claiming there is not enough depth in Women's MMA for it to make sense. He might have even given you his tried and tested anecdote of once witnessing a Women's MMA fight that consisted of a fitness model with a few boxercise classes getting beaten down by a female Randy Couture look-alike.
Now in 2012, White's tune is a little sweeter -- though not the complete turn around female fighters might be hoping for.
"It's not that I changed my position on Women's MMA, I still believe it's not deep enough to have a complete weight division and put on fights all the time. But yeah it's no secret that I've been pretty honest about my feelings about Ronda Rousey", White told journalists at the UFC on Fuel 5 post-fight media scrum on Saturday.
"I think she's f**king* awesome. I think she's mean, I think she's nasty, and she's a real fighter and I like watching her fight. I think there can be some fun fights with Ronda ... and some of the other women too. But you'd have to do some one offs".
Pressed further on whether we could see Rousey in the world famous Octagon, White seemed cautiously optimistic.
"I don't know, we'll see what happens. They fight for Strikeforce, we'll see what happens ... I've said publicly, 'I absolutely, positively would bring Ronda Rousey into the UFC' "
White recognises in Rousey -- A Beijing Olympics Bronze Medalist in Judo for the USA, and undefeated in MMA -- a fighter who has transcended her sport and is garnering the attention of the more mainstream press and media, having attended the recent Sons of Anarchy red carpet season premiere with her and what her reception was like.
"I think she's a big thing now. She's already done things that we couldn't get done, I mean she's been on talk shows that we could never f**king get on ... I heard she was the best selling cover of ESPN: The Body Issue, that was what I heard.
My point is, she's one of those breakthrough stars. You guys know I went to the Sons of Anarchy premiere with her? When we got out of the car, the whole f**king place erupted, like she was on the show or something ... she's 'there' "
One off fights in the UFC is exactly what's needed short term to help boost interest at the grass roots for WMMA, and therefore produce a deeper talent pool at the top to draw from. Having someone like Rousey who is only increasing in celebrity at this stage is invaluable for the future of WMMA should she be profiled in fights correctly.
For the time being though, Showtime and Strikeforce have the rights to her, but based on small pieces of information Rousey has disclosed about her contract, she may not be one of these fighters trapped in career purgatory due to the current Zuffa-Showtime agreement that amounts to no Strikeforce fighter being allowed to go to the UFC even when contract termination or completion occurs, as long as Zuffa still have a programming agreement with the network.
If that is the case, and depending on Rousey's current contract, she may end up fighting on a UFC card sooner rather than later.