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It didn’t take long for UFC president Dana White to weigh-in on the news that UFC women’s bantamweight champion, Ronda Rousey had been offered a role in a future “Hunger Games” sequel alongside Jennifer Lawrence.
In Tuesday night’s episode of “UFC Tonight” on FUEL TV, the outspoken prez categorizes the decision to follow in Gina Carano and Quinton Rampage Jackson’s footsteps a downgrade in pay:
“You know how I feel about the movie stuff. When Rampage did the movie, it was his dream to be a part of the A-Team. I don’t want to take away any opportunities from Ronda, but at the same time, her window of opportunity as a professional athlete is really narrow. She could make a zillion movies when she retires. Where she’s really going to get the money is here fighting. I don’t care if she’s the lead role in ‘The Hunger Games 2,’ she would not make anywhere near – I mean, not even in the universe – to the money she makes fighting.”
From a business perspective, it makes all the sense in the world that White would come out guns blazing following “The Hunger Games” report.
After all, his decision to create a WMMA 135-pound division, and ultimately ride the Ronda Rousey wave has already proven to be a brilliant decision and a huge success.
Saturday night’s UFC 157 event is a perfect illustration of that, as Rousey’s much-anticipated UFC debut has already surpassed all expectations.
In addition to a sellout crowd of 15,525 at Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif., that generated a live gate of over $1.4 million, the preliminary pay-per-view numbers have been staggering.
“PPV was huge; she’s a legit star,” texted UFC chairman Lorenzo Fertitta Monday night.
Although the Ultimate Fighting Championship doesn’t publicly share its official numbers, the LA Times is reporting that, including replays, Rousey’s first-round (armbar) submission of Liz Carmouche could near 500,000 PPV buys.
Although the actual numbers aren’t in, Rousey’s UFC 157 bout is projected to crush the previous high-mark for a female fight.
The record, belonging to the first-ever women’s boxing PPV card between the daughters of Muhammad Ali (Laila) and Joe Frazier (Jacqui Frazier-Lyde), generated 125,000 buys in 2008.
Should Rousey keep fighting until her abilities have deteriorated, like White suggests, or should she abandon the WMMA throne and head for “Tinseltown”?