Last weekend two highly regarded female athletes unknowingly went head to head in a battle to decide which will make a bigger impact on their sport. Ronda Rousey defeated Liz Carmouche to become the first female UFC winner defending her title she won previously in StrikeForce. Dana White, MMA owner, has publicly stated in the past his distaste for female fighters in the UFC, but decided to not only give the first fight a pay-per-view match, but give them a headlining title fight.
And after creating a buzz by winning the pole position at Daytona, Danica Patrick finished in 8th place, the highest for any female driver at that location. It wasn’t first, but the top ten finish is a strong one even though it looked like she may have had a third place finish locked down.
But who had the bigger impact on their sport? For the most part it looks like Rousey may have the lead on this one. Patrick has now been around for a while and has yet to win that major race. Mediocre at best, Patrick may have to win a few races in a row to spark higher interest. Is she good for NASCAR? Sure, but I don’t know how many people will remember names of the races she’s won unless they’re a diehard fan.
Rousey is a bit different. Even though they are competing in two sports that are currently male dominated, she has been consistently winning. Her wins by armbar have created a pattern, a trend, and fans like those. They want to have something to cheer for and to expect when she fights. Some will say it will become a Billie Jean King vs. Bobby Riggs “Battle of the Sexes” situation where she’ll have defeated all of the female fighters and won’t have any ‘real competition’, but time will tell how White and the UFC want to handle her popularity. It may need to be stretched out for that reason.
In relation to the hobby, Rousey’s autograph cards definitely had a bigger spike in prices. Most ranging in the $150-$250 range, while Patrick’s autograph cards peaked a little over $300, but start to drop significantly after that.
So who do you think made a bigger impact? Let us know in the comment section.