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Posted: Tuesday October 23, 2012 10:08PM ; Updated: Tuesday October 23, 2012 10:42PM

UFC women's division 'absolutely going to happen,' White says

Story Highlights

UFC head Dana White says Ronda Rousey, 25, could lead its first female division

"It's absolutely going to happen," says White, who didn't say when she would join

This marks a reversal for White, who has long rejected the idea of women's MMA

By Melissa Segura, SI.com

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Ronda Rousey, the reigning Strikeforce women's bantamweight champion, has never been taken past the first round.
Ronda Rousey, the reigning Strikeforce women's bantamweight champion, has never been taken past the first round.
Esther Lin/Forza LLC

Ronda Rousey, the most dominant female fighter in MMA, could be its most historic, too.

UFC president Dana White tells SI.com he's working on a female division of the UFC, largely because of Rousey's influence.

"It's absolutely going to happen," White said Tuesday of the women's division.

VIDEO: Ronda Rousey is the perfect storm

The inclusion of women in the sport's highest ranks is an about-face for White, who had long rejected the idea of a women's division, deriding the quality of fighting and the depth of competition in the female ranks.

White attributes his reversal to Rousey, 25, who has beaten each of her nine opponents -- three amateur, six professional -- with a devastating armbar in the first round. Only one opponent, wrestling specialist Miesha Tate, endured longer than one minute in the cage with the Strikeforce bantamweight title holder and 2008 bronze medalist in judo.

HUNT: Rousey readies for star turn

White says no time frame is set for the new division. Rousey's transition to UFC, White says, "could happen tomorrow, it could happen a year from now."

Rousey's manager Darin Harvey says, "Nothing is immenient. She's a Strikeforce champion not a UFC fighter. We still have three fights left for Strikeforce."

Regardless of the time frame for the women's division, White says, "The point is I'm committed to this."

 
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