"Rowdy" Ronda Rousey doesn't just have an awesome wrestling name (with a nod to the legendary Canadian wrestler Rowdy Roddy Piper). She's also got a new gig: she is the champion of the Ultimate Fighting Championship's first women's division.
Rousey will compete in the UFC's new 135-pound women's weightclass, and she'll make her official UFC debut headlining a major sports pay-per-view event in February (she was crowned a UFC champion because she's the reigning champ in a rival promotion the UFC bought and is shutting down).
The other big news is who Rousey will compete against in her first bout.
Her name is Liz Carmouche, and she's an openly gay fighter - the UFC's first.
It turns out Carmouche was taken by surprise ahead of the announcement that she'd be competing in a UFC event.
She only found out she'd be fighting Rousey about an hour before UFC president Dana White made the announcement.
She told MMAFighting.com "I got a call from Dana about an hour before they made the announcement. It was the first time I'd ever talked to Dana. It came together that quick."
The UFC has been criticized repeatedly for allowing homophobic language. Michael David Smith wrote an opinion piece on MMAFighting.com post in February, 2011 titled "UFC Should Shut Down Homophobic Slurs."
The piece details many examples of UFC fighters using homophobic language to insult their opponents, including some that were used in promotional videos.
Dana White responded to accusations of homophobia in the UFC in October, 2011, stating that "if there was a gay fighter in the UFC, I wish he would come out. I could care less if there's a gay fighter in the UFC. There probably is and there's probably more than one."
In April, 2012, a major sponsor of the company's events issued a warning to the UFC over sexist and homophobic comments: "We've communicated to the UFC our displeasure and with certain remarks made by some of its fighters, and they have promised to address this. If the incidents continue, we will act."
Connor Simpson, writing in the Atlantic Wire, suggests that the introduction of Carmouche to the UFC represents an opportunity for the company to team up with You Can Play, an organization that brings together gay athletes and their straight allies. Check out their site right here.
We had Dana White in the red chair two seasons ago, and he talked about the accusations of homophobia and the time he got several MMA fighters to pose for gay magazine 'Flaunt'. Check out his interview below (the homophobia discussion starts around the 9-minute mark):