Has the World Forgotten What Rousey Has Done?
“She’s back,” they said. “It’ll be huge,” they said.
It lasted 48 painful and embarrassing seconds. MMA fans watched as the woman who was once touted as the greatest female fighter of all time lost the throne she came back to claim. Just 48 seconds.
Watching her crumble in defeat for the second time was too much for the masses to bear. The same people who cheered her during her rise to fame – such as the likes of Joe Rogan who said she looked like a fucking world champion kickboxer and was brought to tears when recalling her win over Bethe Correia – now really started picking her apart. They said she was never was good to begin with: just a one-trick pony of a hype job who believed the smoke her entourage, her coach, and most of all the UFC, blew up her ass.
Never mind that she wrote a best-selling book on the rocky road she took, and blazed, in matters of fighting; that she won the Olympics; that she forever changed the face of a male-dominated sport and showed women, but most importantly young girls, that beauty and hotness could mean something else than protruding ribs, fake tits and size two outfits.
Fuck all that. She had lost. And not only that, she lost in a fashion that women should avoid at all costs: in a display of arrogance.
I’m not making a case against arrogance in combat sports because it’s hard to argue against the fight selling capacities of this trait. I’m arguing that Ronda Rousey wouldn’t face this much of a boiling backlash if she were a man.
And for those of you who think I’m too quick to pull the gender card, I beg of you to take a look at the treatment Conor McGregor received (a cocky fighter if there ever was one) after his loss to Nate Diaz, which didn’t last as long, wasn’t as vitriolic and didn’t reek of as much schadenfraude as we are seeing with Ms. Rousey.
Calling out reigning champs (while in Strikeforce), trash talking, mean mugging, and getting violent at staredowns, Rousey stood out from the masses and played a very different game than the booty-shaking VanZant, for instance. But that’s why we watched and paid for her pay-per-views.
There she was: this cute blonde chick who not only wanted to play with the big boys, but to play like them, too. And for a while, she did just that, for whatever the reasons (some cited a shallow talent pool, while others have chalked her success up to sheer luck). And she did it long enough to lead to the creation of two other female divisions.
All that being said, I don’t believe we should have a “bow down, bitches” kinda moment when it comes to Rousey. Girlfriend needs to take a page from Dominic Cruz’s book when it comes to losing gracefully and evidently has to re-enroll in Boxing 101. However, I do believe that, as combat sports fans, we need to ease up on the girl. What she did transcends the Octagon, gender stereotypes and the future of martial arts.
Now, how many of you can say you’ve done anything like that?
Edited by Scott Blacklock
- My name is Pascale Fontaine, I've been learning muay thai for about three years at Académie Sparmax in Rosemère, Canada, under Ajarn Normand Grimard. I attended the TBA Pacific Northwest Annual Muay Thai Training Camp in 2014. I plan on having my first amateur fight in 6 months. I graduated from University of Montréal in 2005 with a degree in literature and in 2008 with a degree in translation.