clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

UFC 193 video: How Ronda Rousey changed the culture of MMA

New, comments

Michael Hutchinson discusses the importance of UFC 193 and how Ronda Rousey has changed the culture of the sport.

Take a time machine and go back to the year 2009. Brock Lesnar was in the middle of the Octagon ridiculing Bud Light, Georges St-Pierre and Anderson Silva were in their prime, and women's MMA was never going to be a thing in the UFC.

Fast-forward six years to 2015 -- fans are on the cusp of an event where both the main event and co-main event are headlined by dominant female fighters. So how did this happen?

"Ronda Rouesy was an undeniable celebrity and an undeniable star in the making. She had the star quality, the charisma and she had the dominance and the win streak,"'s Karim Zidan said. "She was perfectly packaged and parcelled and delivered to Dana White's door step."

The biggest names in the sport right now are Ronda Rousey, Conor McGregor, Paige VanZant and Sage Northcutt. Page views and google searches have only strengthened that argument. Each of these fighters put a huge emphasis on their image outside of the cage. The UFC is now grooming stars, celebrities of the fight game.This could arguably allow the sport to expand into the mainstream and give people the chance to see the sport in a different light.

But is this a good thing? On the one hand, more women are getting involved in MMA because of Rousey.

"I think she has made it more accessible. I think a part of that fear has gone away," says Danny Beaclerc, the head coach of Black Devil MMA.

MMA continues to evolve, and with that comes a ripple effect with both positive and negative changes. Is it okay that a fighter with one win in the UFC and only a hand full of professional fights to garner more attention than veterans of the sport?

Rousey laid the ground work to become a star, but in order to get there, the most important thing she had to do was win. At the end of the day, Rousey is not a model, she's not an actor and she is not a celebrity. She is a fighter.