Major news broke Thursday evening, as TMZ reported, and the UFC later confirmed that Ronda Rousey, current Strikeforce Women’s Bantamweight Champion, will break the gender barrier and join the UFC.
This is a huge step for women’s MMA, especially considering only a year ago, Dana White had no interest in women competing in the UFC. Miesha Tate, whom Rousey won her title from, has also been signed.
In the wake of this situation, it was also reported that Strikeforce will indeed cease operations after their January card on Showtime, which will host three title fights, as well as the Strikeforce Heavyweight GP winner Daniel Cormier.
The immediate ramifications of the deal were not known, as Showtime had previously instituted a “no compete” clause in their fighter contracts, where fighters leaving the company could not sign with the UFC, despite being free agents. Major injuries and cancellations contributed to the demise of the company. Showtime’s future involvement with MMA is also unknown.
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