Lifestyle & Belief

Ronda Rousey hot commodity as UFC expands women's division (VIDEO)


Ronda Rousey fights Liz Carmouche during their UFC bantamweight title bout at Honda Center on February 23, 2013, in Anaheim, California.


Jeff Gross

Despite Ronda Rousey’s devastating record, UFC president Dana White remains bullish on an expanded women’s division for his flagship mixed-martial arts organization.

“Rowdy” Rousey defeated Liz (The Girlrilla) Carmouche on Saturday night in Anaheim, Calif., with another first-round arm bar in the 135-pound championship fight.

That makes seven straight professional wins all coming thanks to the painful, yet effective, submission hold for the 2008 Olympic bronze medalist in judo.

“Is this real life right now? I’m not sure,” Rousey said after the win, USA Today reported. “One thing I had to learn in MMA is be patient and take my time.”

Carmouche—a former Marine and Iraq war veteran—was expected to give the heavily favored Rousey a run for the money.

More from GlobalPost: 5 things to know before UFC157

While the bout delivered drama, it still didn’t last very long, with Carmouche tapping out in the final seconds of the opening round.

If this is the best UFC can offer right now, is there a future for women in the sport?

White said yes. He’s pleased with the turnout and expects UFC157 to set records for most successful women’s fight ever, boxing or otherwise.

The Honda Center arena sold out with more than 15,000 people watching UFC’s first foray into women’s mixed-martial arts.

Adding more fighters in more weight classes remains a slow work in progress, White told reporters.

“We’ll see what happens,” he said. “I don’t know if we'll be adding 145 (pound division) in a couple months, but over the next year, what we’re going to be doing is building this 135-pound division. I’m going to have 15 new fighters in here that we need to introduce to the world.”

Who’s next? A few of the names being thrown around include Cristiane (Cyborg) Santos, Miesha Tate and Rousey’s training partner and fellow judoka, Marina Shafir.

“I feel like I have the potential and skills to put a twist on this game,” Shafir told Yahoo! Sports.

It appears after UFC157 Shafir and others will have their chances as long as the fans are there.

“If people didn’t want to watch this fight, the UFC wouldn’t put it out there,” former UFC champion Chuck Liddell told ESPN.

[View the story "Fans say yes to more women fighters after UFC157" on Storify]