Ronda Rousey is now officially the first woman to sign with the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
After news broke of Rousey’s signing one week ago, UFC President Dana White today confirmed the development during an appearance on “The Jim Rome Show.” Additionally, Rousey verified the news on Twitter, urging her followers to tell White whom she should first face in the Octagon.
Rousey, 25, made her pro debut in March 2011 and has since become one of mixed martial arts’ biggest stars. A 2008 Olympic judo bronze medalist, “Rowdy” has seen her stock rise with each impressive in-cage performance.
After stringing together four-straight featherweight finishes -- all of which ended via straight armbar in under 60 seconds -- Rousey made the drop to 135 pounds this past March to challenge Miesha Tate for the Strikeforce bantamweight title. Though it took the Californian a little longer than usual, Rousey nonetheless finished Tate in 4:27 with her patented arm lock, badly hyperextending the former champion’s elbow in the process.
Rousey then successfully defended her new title on Aug. 18 against Sarah Kaufman, quickly jabbing her way into the clinch before once again applying the straight armbar. Though Kaufman tried gamely to resist the submission hold, eventually Rousey managed to extend her appendage and force the tap at 54 seconds of the opening frame.
Strikeforce is rumored to be holding its final show on Jan. 12, though promotion officials have made no official announcement concerning the promotion’s future beyond that date. The event, which airs on Showtime, will see three titles put up for grabs, as Gilbert Melendez, Luke Rockhold and Nate Marquardt defend their belts against Pat Healy, Lorenz Larkin and Tarec Saffiedine, respectively.