We’ve known for a few weeks that Strikeforce women’s Bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey would be coming over the UFC. Now, UFC president Dana White has made it official and announced when and against whom at today’s UFC on Fox 5: Henderson vs. Diaz press conference.
At the press conference, White also presented Rousey with her UFC title belt and officially declared her the first UFC women’s Bantamweight champion.
Rousey will make her UFC debut against Liz Carmouche in the headliner of UFC 157 in Anaheim, California on February 23, 2013. So far the other fights expected to be on that card are a Light Heavyweight #1 contenders bout between Dan Henderson and Lyoto Machida and a Bantamweight bout between Urijah Faber and Ivan Menjivar.
Machida vs Henderson is a high profile fight and will be an excellent co-main to support the Rousey fight. Women’s MMA is a totally untested proposition on pay-per-view. Rousey has drawn strong ratings on Showtime but has never shown an ability to sell tickets at the gate. Historically women’s MMA pioneer Gina Carano drew excellent ratings on Showtime and CBS but Carano never headlined a PPV.
The 25-year-old Rousey won a Bronze medal in Judo at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. She’s been Strikeforce’s 135lb champ since beating Miesha Tate in March. She defended her Strikeforce title once against Sarah Kaufman in August.
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