The Ultimate Fighting Championship's road to mainstream recognition has been helped tremendously by the force that is Ronda Rousey, and UFC president Dana White says that's because Rousey is a one-in-a-million star like no other.
During a Thursday interview with HuffPost Live about his series "Dana White: Lookin' for a Fight," White explained that Rousey is the kind of star who is born, not made.
"Some people have that star quality in them and some people are superstars and others just aren't," White said. "You can be a great fighter and be super talented, but just not have that persona and that 'It factor.' ... Ronda Rousey is -- she is it."
Rousey got the chance to show off her star quality last weekend, when she hosted "Saturday Night Live." White's review? "She killed it." He added that Rousey, who has also appeared in several films, including "Furious 7," has managed to use her UFC fights as a launching pad in way others can't.
White said he credits fighters like Rousey -- and, presumably, Holly Holm, who broke Rousey's winning streak in November -- with raising the caliber of women's competition in the UFC.
"The women's fights are more popular than the men's fights, and it's not because it's some type of sideshow, freak-show type thing. It's because the women have actually, as far as their skill, have got to a level where they're fun and exciting to watch," he said.
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