In January of 2011, outside the famed Beverly Hills restaurant Mr. Chow’s, a TMZ reporter engaged UFC president Dana White in some amiable banter asking, “When are we going to see women in the UFC man?”
A grinning White replied succinctly.
“Never,” said White. “Never.”
However, as White frequently says, “Never say never.” As is widely known, White saw star potential in Ronda Rousey and she became the organization’s inaugural women’s bantamweight champion, and eventually the biggest star in the sport, by far. In 2015, she was the third most searched for person on Google. #4 was Donald Trump.
But by 2014, White had radically altered his stance on women in MMA.
“The best decision I ever made was to bring women in,” he said
However, that sentiment is not universal. UFC Hall of Famer and Bellator MMA ambassador Gracie, whose initial exploits in the earliest form of the sport set the stage for all that was to come, offered a different response. Gracie was asked by sportscaster Joe Buck if he was a fan of WMMA.
“Nope,” he replied. “I’m not a big fan of it. I like the woman feminine. I don’t want to go home and get beat up. But hey, it’s a free country, they can do whatever they want.”