If Dana White is to be believed (and as a promoter, you should always take him with a hefty grain of salt), then the Ronda Rousey-led UFC 190 is on track out outsell the spectacular UFC 189, featuring Conor McGregor vs. Chad Mendes and Robbie Lawler vs. Rory MacDonald, on PPV. With estimates putting UFC 189 somewhere around the one million buy mark, that would be quite a feat for an event that basically featured Ronda Rousey in a grudge match against a fighter casual fans had never heard of, and hardcore fans didn’t respect.

The thing is, Rousey sells. Be it against Bethe Correia or Miesha Tate, she sells. And with that in mind, now is the time for the UFC to put on an all female card (at least, main card), much like they did an all heavyweight event at UFC 146 back in 2012.

Don’t think women’s MMA can sell a whole card? Think again.

UFC 190’s dominance was all Rousey. Even with a weak opponent, the card outperformed all expectations. No one was buying that card for the TUF Brazil fights that stretched it out into an overly long event. Shogun Rua and Nogueira brothers might have added a few eyeballs, but in the end, it was the Rousey show.

Now consider this: back in February at UFC 184 Rousey managed to draw in nearly 600,000 PPV buys for her fight against Cat Zingano — a fighter many fans saw as legit competition, but who was hardly a name with casual fans. And Rousey did this with a co-main event featuring a debuting Holly Holm, a fighter fans outside the core MMA community few had heard of, even if she was touted as a possible Rousey-killer.

All that means Rousey is one of the few true stars the UFC has. Meanwhile, at strawweight, you have an incredible champion in Joanna Jedrzejczyk who, like Rousey, is undefeated. She has some of the sickest striking in the UFC, and has earned the respect of her peers after virtually coming out of nowhere a year or so ago. She puts on exciting fights and has a marketable personality with a quirky sense of humor — which is why the UFC should be putting her in the co-main event slot of a Rousey PPV. Sure, the allure of Conor McGregor and Rousey on the same card is compelling for the promotion, but that’s a one off. For a long term gain, and to grow the women’s divisions, the UFC needs to get Jedrzejczyk’s name (or just Joanna Champion, if you prefer) out to the masses.

Beyond that, you have the other female fighter who is really “over” in the mainstream, Paige VanZant. You have proven talents like Tate, Zingano, Sara McMann, Jessica Eye, Claudia Gadelha, tough, gritty fighters like Leslie Smith, and marketable names like Bec Rawlings and Felice Herrig. In fact, between the two weight classes, you have more than enough talent to support a card.

So now is the time to do it, while Rousey is at her peak as a draw, and can help shine the spotlight on the rest of the field.

About The Author

Senior Staff Writer

Covering the sport of MMA from Ontario, Canada, Jay Anderson has been writing for various publications covering sports, technology, and pop culture since 2001. Jay holds an Honours Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Guelph, and a Certificate in Leadership Skills from Humber College under the Ontario Management Development Program. When not slaving at the keyboard, he can be found in the company of his dog, a good book, or getting lost in the woods.