Showtime VP Stephen Espinoza was sad to see Ronda Rousey (6-0) leave Strikeforce and thus Showtime, but was glad that she was able to fulfill a dream of hers.
“It was difficult to see her go because we’re kind of with her from the start,” said Espinoza to Fight Hub. “We were the only network she had been fighting on. I’m happy for her. It was her dream to go into the UFC. I’m confident we’re going to continue and discover good fighters.”
After Dana White made it clear that he was brining Rousey in as the first female fighter for the UFC and would be their inaugural champion, her stock went right to the top. Espinoza mentioned that Showtime was compensated for allowing her to leave, but didn’t go in the specifics.
“We didn’t want to stand in front of any opportunity Ronda had,” said Espinoza. “We made certain arraignments to allow her to go forward. It wasn’t about what we were getting in return. It was about doing the right thing.”
Espinoza said moving forward Showtime would continue to air women competing just like they did prior to Rousey.
“There’s plenty of talent out there and we’re going to continue to develop it,” said Espinoza
Rousey will make her first title defense against Liz Carmouche (7-2) at UFC 157 on February 23. They will meet in the main event out of the Honda Center.