Naturally, we’ve been very happy about the rise of Ronda Rousey and what it means to the future of women in UFC and just Mixed Martial Arts competition in general. But as much fun as it has been to talk about the successful, charismatic and, well, attractive Rousey, I’ve regrettably ignored what is an equally important – or maybe even arguably more important – story in Rousey’s opponent, Liz Carmouche, becoming the first openly gay fighter in UFC history.
The move is a nice one for UFC President Dana White, who famously dropped an F-Bomb (f*ggot, not f*ck) in an interview several years ago, as he can now boast of the UFC’s universal inclusiveness with both women and homosexuals all in one fell swoop. PR stunts aside, though, it’s just good for everyone, as long as it’s not the only thing that defines Carmouche. I’m sure she’d like to be known as a UFC champion, in addition to being a champion for equality.
In the meantime, her presence is a win-win for everyone involved, as the UFC takes a step forward in fighting the stigma of White’s mistake, while Carmouche goes into her championship match at UFC 157 on Feb. 26 against Rousey with not only female MMA fans supporting her, but also gay MMA fans, and that’s something that means a lot to her.