When UFC president Dana White finally decided to relent and bring in female fighters, he caught a lot of flack for previous comments made.
However, as true to his word as he could be, White admitted Thursday that he quickly became a fan of the division.
Saturday night, Ronda Rousey and Liz Carmouche will battle in the main event of UFC 157, and according to the UFC boss, the event is making huge waves in terms of national media attention.
“Without a doubt, this is the most media attention we’ve ever had leading up to a fight,” White said. “We have big-time media covering it, the gate beat the last gate, which was a heavyweight championship match between Cain Velasquez and Junior dos Santos. There was a lot of smack talk when I announced this fight, but I said what would happen, and here we are.”
White added that there are only a handful of tickets left, and those are “the cheap seats.” He also said that Lorenzo Fertitta told him the event is trending well in terms of pay-per-view buys.
Rousey helped push White into promoting female fighters, and she has thrived in the spotlight.
“No fighter, that has ever fought in the UFC, has had more attention than she has,” White said. “I didn’t think it would be a positive reaction when HBO and Time Magazine started covering her, I thought it would be a freak show, but nobody pulled the freak show card. Nobody smashed the main event.”
Many have questioned how the PPV buys will play out with two females in the main event, but the media attention so far has been out of this world, dwarfing that of even the “legendary” Brock Lesnar.