If Jon Jones is the UFC’s golden boy, he most certainly has a sister named Ronda.

The UFC has seen a resurgence in The Ultimate Fighter because of a high-profile coaching pairing featuring Jones and the silver-tongued Chael Sonnen. The promotion has followed that effort by placing Rousey in a coaching role opposite the winner of the fight between Cat Zingano and Miesha Tate. Zingano, though undefeated, was the underdog in the fight, and the UFC licked its chops at having Tate and Rousey rekindle a rivalry under the TUF banner. However, Zingano’s fists (and knees) thought otherwise, landing her a spot against an opponent who she respected and who respected her.

The next season of The Ultimate Fighter lost some of its sizzle with the outcome of that fight, so the organization turned pushing the idea that it’s the first time women and men would be residing in the house together for the competition. However, as seen in most popular seasons of the reality series, there needs to be some sort of name recognition and animosity between the coaches. Quinton “Rampage” Jackson and Rashad Evans, Tito Ortiz and Ken Shamrock, and recently “Bones” and Sonnen all had “beef” coming into the season. The seasons when there was no turmoil, like that of TUF 16 with Shane Carwin and Roy Nelson, seemed to produce little interest.

It’s true that last season also had the prospect of Uriah Hall come to fruition, which left most viewers itching for more. However, the season ended on a low note, as fans watched an overconfident Hall lose a tough decision to the resilient Kelvin Gastelum at the live finale. This made the season land on a sour note for most fans who had jumped on the Uriah Hall bandwagon.

With the show switching to a new network—Fox Sports 1—the show could be in trouble. Having two coaches who have no real spark between them, it looked as if the momentum gathered by The Ultimate Fighter over the last season would be lost. But then Zingano’s knee thought otherwise, again.

Zingano sustained a horrible knee injury in training and the UFC’s women’s division is worse for it, but this season of The Ultimate Fighter is overall better for it, at least in the eyes of the UFC and casual fans.

The addition of Tate to rival Rousey is the perfect way to showcase the UFC’s newest division. Rousey is somewhere past being a budding star and very close to being a full blown star in the sports world. She has become a symbol for women’s sports and the show will be the perfect way to showcase her tough, yet endearing personality. Tate also brings out the best in Rousey and will stand to make her look even better throughout the series.

As far as the fight at the end, not a person in the world has stood in opposition to Rousey. Aside from a Liz Carmouche neck crank, Rousey has looked just as invincible as Jones. This season will mean more to Rousey than becoming a bigger MMA star—she can’t be any bigger of a star in the sport itself. Alongside Tate this season, however, she will become a bigger star in the larger world of sports and in terms of female empowerment. As unfortunate as it may be that the true No. 1 contender is out, the UFC has shown that sometimes it’s more about the story than the competition, and this story should end up with Rousey being the face of women’s sports.

Photo: Ronda Rousey (Esther Lin/MMA Fighting)

About The Author

Ross White hails from Columbus, Ohio. Like most others he has been a fight fan since Forrest Griffin and Stephan Bonnar fought at the pinnacle of the UFC's history. Ross is a sports fan through and through and loves watching any sport. He is a die hard Seattle Seahawks, Columbus Blue Jackets, and Ohio State Buckeyes fan. He also enjoys playing video games, reading comics, and writing a rap song here and there. His favorite fight of all time is Takanori Gomi and Nick Diaz at Pride 33.