Our friends at Fight Hub TV have interviewed Showtime Vice-President Stephen Espinoza and got him to comment on the record about the departure of Strikeforce Bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey from Showtime for the UFC.
The Showtime exec talks about the network's commitment to women's MMA, saying "we were supporting women's MMA when it wasn't cool. We sort of found and helped develop Gina Carano. I think when Gina left to follow other interests no one expected another female star would emerge on Showtime. I'm not saying Gina and Ronda are a dime-a-dozen but there's other talent out there and we'll be looking for it."
He also says that the network appreciated the "big picture" and "didn't want to stand in the way of any opportunity that Ronda had. Let's just say we made certain arrangements to let her go forward with her career. We didn't want to be an obstacle. We're not going to try to leverage that and squeeze that. It's about doing the right thing."
Most importantly he teases Showtime's continuing interest in MMA, "Anything we do going forward in the MMA space is going to involve the women's division."