Former UFC CEO Lorenzo Fertitta Praises Ronda as an Athlete and Female Icon

Justin Golightly
Ronda Rousey UFC MMA

Before Lorenzo Fertitta grew a big David Letterman beard and Ronda Rousey became WWE RAW Women’s Champion, he was the CEO of the UFC and she ruled over the lady bantamweights with her patented scowl.

Of course, it wasn’t always like that. Dana White infamously said women would never fight for the UFC until he saw Ronda wrecking chicks and then was like yeah, nevermind. It wasn’t just a win for her and women worldwide but contributed to the zeitgeist of the time.

“This is a seminal moment in not just sports but culture altogether. It’s female empowerment. Why can’t a girl be a fighter? Why can’t a girl be successful in sports like these other athletes?’ Fertitta said. ‘We’ve embraced it. We don’t treat them any differently They headline big PPV events. They get paid PPV points when they’re champs, no different than the guys do.” 

“Ronda Rousey’s whole life has been transformed from being an ex-Olympic athlete,’ he said. “The first woman to ever win a medal in judo in the Olympics and finds herself literally living out of her car because what’s the outlet out of the Olympics for wrestlers and judo players?  And here we come with an opportunity to be on a worldwide stage.”

Ronda’s journey with the UFC ended, but she kept marching onward with the same mindset into the WWE. Just last month, she joined forces with the power of the entire women’s roster and participated in their first ever all-women’s card WWE Evolution.

“She has been the most impressive athlete we’ve ever worked with here at the UFC. I’d put her right up there with the best of the best. Not just for what she can do in the Octagon, but the way she handles herself outside the Octagon, he said. “The way she manages her own discipline and the way she trains and she balances it with being a worldwide movie star and she doesn’t miss a beat at all.”

Hear Ronda break down the historic WWE Evolution card in our exclusive Q&A.

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