Ronda Rousey has not competed in nearly a year, but UFC President Dana White says she is still the company's biggest star.
The UFC President appeared on Hot97 New York's iconic radio station to talk all things UFC and to promote UFC 205 at Madison Square Gardens. White was asked about Rousey and her popularity and emphatically stated Rousey was the UFC's biggest star.
“Ronda Rousey is such a big star that when you go down to Brazil – I don’t know if you guys have watched any of the fights we do from Brazil — they don’t care who you are. They want the Brazilian to whoop your ass. When Ronda went down there, they cheered for Ronda over the Brazilian. Never seen that before in my life and will probably never see it again. That’s how big Ronda Rousey is,” said White.
White also talked about Rousey's role in bringing women fighters into the UFC, and how it changed his infamous stance on females fighting in the company. White once said that women would never fight in the UFC.
"Ronda Rousey changed everything with my business...Everyone heard the famous TMZ words from me, 'when will women fight in the UFC?' and I said 'never', then I met Ronda Rousey. We sat and we talked and fifteen minutes into a forty-five minute conversation I was like 'holy shit, I think I'm gonna do this, I think she's the one.' Then I went out and made her the main event down in Anaheim,California," said White.
White even went as far as to say the negativity and resistance he saw towards women debuting in UFC opened his eyes to the prejudices all women face.
The rest of the 45 minute interview can be seen above. UFC 205 is November 12th in New York City. It will be the first UFC event since the legalization of professional MMA in the state of New York.