Ronda Rousey: She Gone
It’s really easy to hit Ronda Rousey when she’s down. In fairness, it seems pretty easy to hit her when she’s upright as well.
I’ve never been a Rousey fan. While I appreciate what she’s done for women’s MMA and I can’t discredit her Judo skills and ability to snatch an arm, she doesn’t seem like a good person.
There is no shortage of “Ronda is a bad person” stories. You can point to her yelling at other female fighters or production staff for no reason, bullying, coming up with conspiracy theories, shaming people who use lube, telling my best friend that he needs a hobby, or just being an arrogant jerk with an “I’m better than you attitude” as reasons why she’s unlikeable.
I don’t wish anyone harm in MMA, but we’re all lying if we don’t say that we want certain fighters to lose.
When Holly Holm beat Ronda, it was a beautiful shock. Almost no one saw it coming, and when it happened, especially the way it happened, it was pretty satisfying to watch. Holly made her look foolish for just under six minutes before kicking her head off.
When Amanda Nunes beat Ronda, it was a sad reality. Plenty of people saw it coming, and when it happened, especially the way it happened, it was satisfyingly sad to watch. Ronda offered no resistance as Holm knocked her block off on some Rock Em Sock Em Robots action.
Ronda only has herself to blame for this performance. She bought into her own hype a year ago. In fairness, there was no reason for her not to buy in. She was running through everyone in a matter of seconds. But the best are never satisfied and are always pushing to improve. And when the best lose, they push that much harder and make the necessary changes to get better.
Instead, she heard Joe Rogan praise her “elite level striking,” and thought it was true. She was put on the cover of Ring magazine, heard people say she could beat Floyd Mayweather, and thought she was the greatest boxer of all-time. She surrounded herself with “Yes Men” who told her that everything she did was the best and that she could do no wrong. She refused to change her training camp after getting embarrassed by Holm on the feet. She believed that she was still a perfect fighter. That she only lost because “it takes a lot of energy to be a rockstar.” So she asked to do no media leading up to UFC 207. And because Dana White is one of her “Yes Men,” she didn’t have to face the media prior to the fight.
After a year away from the spotlight, with only herself to focus on, Ronda somehow looked worse on Friday night.
It would be foolish to think that she would turn into Anderson Silva on the feet after a year away. She lost to Holy in November 2015. She probably didn’t get back into the gym until Summer 2016. She wasn’t going to become a great striker in just over six months. But she’s a great athlete and should have shown some type of improvement. She should have been able to do more than stand there with her head straight up, putting her hands out and hoping Nunes would fall into a clinch.
Ronda is an insecure person who doesn’t seem to know who she is. And that’s why it was sad to watch Nunes treat her head like a drum set. That’s why I’m honestly worried about Ronda’s mental state heading into 2017. She took the Holm loss very hard. She made it known that she contemplated suicide. That’s no joke.
The circumstances are obviously different, but not necessarily better. Prior to that fight, she thought she would never lose and was built up as the greatest ever. She had clearly put the pressure on herself to deliver and live up to the hype. That’s why she acted the way she did towards Holly Holm. Prior to this fight, she was looking to prove the doubters and critics wrong. She put pressure on herself to complete the comeback story and shut up any of the haters. She did her best to eliminate any of the distractions, to be 100% focused on the fight. She immersed herself into the fight in a way that she never had before. And then she delivered that performance.
Unless, of course, she knew this was it. That she only came back is because she felt she had to. And because the $3 million payday was too good to pass up. Even though she doesn’t fight for money. If that’s the case, then she can retire happy and have Travis Browne’s babies.