Ronda Rousey has broken the UFC's gender barrier.
Rousey, believed by many experts to be world's best female fighter, will fight in the UFC, making her the first woman signed by the world's largest Mixed Martial Arts promotion, TMZ reported.
UFC president Dana White previously said that women would never fight in his organization, though he drastically changed his tune during the past year in large part because of Rousey's meteoric rise through the MMA and pop culture worlds.
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As a sex symbol, Rousey became a hot commodity in the media world, appearing on the cover of ESPN magazine's “The Body Issue” as well as Conan O'Brien's late-night talk show.
In the cage, she's rattled off four straight vicious armbar victories, making her the Strikeforce female 135-pound bantamweight champion.
Strikeforce though, according to TMZ, will close its doors after a final Jan. 12 show. The promotion was purchased by the UFC's parent company, Zuffa LLC, in May of 2011. Rumors have swirled for months about when the UFC would the smaller promotion and it appears that day has come.
The UFC has been slowly absorbing Strikeforce parts and now White has chosen to acquire female fighters as well. Rousey, White's admitted publicly, forced him to rethink his assumptions about female fighters' abilities.
With women in tow, the UFC could look to create a fight between Rousey and former Strikeforce 145-pound champion, Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos, though she's currently suspended for steroid use and would have to bridge a weight discrepancy to fight Rousey.