Credit Where It Is Due …. “Rowdy” Ronda Rousey
Article courtesy of Wayne Carl of NickPortellaMMA.com and MMA Freaks
Weight Class: 135 lbs
Notable wins: Cat Zingano, Sara McMann, Miesha Tate x 2
Losses: Amanda Nunes, Holly Holm
We as fight fans are a fickle bunch. Ronda Rousey, love her or hate her was the biggest juggernaut in MMA.
The pleasure so many of the “Tall Poppy” generation got in seeing Rousey exposed and KO’d was extraordinary. The Queen of MMA was dethroned, and the UFC lost its golden ticket.
A lot of the hate was because of her behaviour to opponents over the years. I totally understand that, but the disrespect she receives from the mixed martial arts community is almost laughable.
Ronda Rousey IS the reason the UFC now have 3 women’s divisions. She transcended the sport and made it main stream to a whole new audience.
In today’s article we will look to re-cap some facts about Rousey, look at her career prior to the UFC, her UFC career and then look at IF she returned and did a “Lesnar”, who could she face.
Rousey nearly died at birth from lack of oxygen. This impeded her ability to speak an intelligible word until the age of 6.
Her father Ron broke his back sledding, medical issues didn’t allow it to heal, and he was left a quadriplegic. Due to this, Ron committed suicide when Ronda was the tender age of 8.
Raised by her mother, champion judoka AnnMarie De Mars, Rousey focused on her love of Judo.
At 19 Rousey won a Bronze medal at the Jnr World Championship, in 2007 she won a silver medal at the World Judo Championships, she also won a gold medal at the Pan American games.
At the 2008 Olympic games Rousey was the first American to win an Olympic medal, she won a bronze.
After taking some much-needed time for herself, Rousey would eye the competitive world of MMA.
MMA- Prior UFC
Rousey made her debut at King of the Cage on the 27th March 2011. A 25 second armbar and the juggernaut was away.
Another demolition, this time a 49 second armbar of Charmaine Tweet and Strikeforce came knocking.
Two more highlight armbar finishes and a title shot against fan favourite and experienced Miesha Tate awaited.
In the fight with Tate it was the first time that someone landed real offense against Rousey. Rousey landed that patented armbar before too long and secured her Strikeforce title.
A first defence against the game Sarah Kaufman, another demolition, and surprisingly after denying it would ever happen, UFC’s Dana White came a knocking.
UFC – A superstar is born
A division created for a new star. Rousey had changed the mind of arguably MMA’s most influential man. Dana White crowned her the UFC Bantamweight Champion without her fighting in the UFC.
Rousey made her UFC debut against Liz Carmouche at UFC 157 as the headliner. A first round armbar after early trouble the result.
Women’s MMA was on the map!
A rematch with Miesha Tate was booked due to Cat Zingano’s injury concerns. They would coach on TUF against each other, and an amazing fight by both women would end with a predictable result, an armbar finish to Rousey.
A dominate run of 4 consecutive highlight reel stoppages followed in what could possibly be the most exciting time ever witnessed in our sport. High level competition was destroyed in terrifying fashion. Sara McMann TKO’d in 1.06, Alexis Davis KO’d in 16 seconds, Cat Zingano submitted in 14 seconds and Bethe Correia KO’d in 34 seconds, an extremely impressive 18 months of work.
The UFC Bantamweight division catches up!
UFC 193 was rocked by a cancelled main event for the first PPV in Melbourne Australia. Who would Dana White turn to, that’s right, Rousey was called up and being the good company girl, she is she would step up once again.
Holly Holm on paper didn’t look a threat, Rousey had destroyed so many before her. Sitting in the arena I remember turning to a friend and saying, “Don’t Blink”.
History will show, Holm dominated Rousey with strikes, movement, and grappling control. The bigger women in Holm had come in with an outstanding game plan set up by the Jackson Wink MMA gym.
The head kick KO finish would be heard all around the globe.
Rousey would go into her shell, not understanding how to lose. Many felt she handled the defeat terribly.
A return to the octagon against the best striker in the 135-pound women’s division in Amanda Nunes would happen at UFC 207. A 48 seconds embarrassing defeat would follow.
Many blame her head coach, many believe she got arrogant and complacent, did she really believe she had turned into a striker? Why didn’t she grappling, or use her judo?
“Head movement, head movement” is all I hear when I think of that night.
The greatest female UFC fighter had been exposed. From hunter to hunted, the story changed overnight, the division had caught up.
WWE / Hall of fame
At only 31, Rousey is now playing pretend in WWE. I for one am happy for her, let her go and enjoy the entertainment business.
Recently inducted into the hall of Fame of the UFC (rightfully), has the desire dissipated from her, has the most competitive female really lost that fire in the belly to compete?
What if she decides to challenge herself once again? What if she did a “Lesnar”? Let’s look at possible match ups and those to avoid.
Opponents to avoid-
Amanda Nunes, Holly Holm, Katlin Viera and “for the love of god” (WWE voice) avoid Cris Cyborg.
All four are far too developed in striking, they are bigger and stronger meaning her Judo won’t come into play.
Opponents to target-
If she was to return I could definitely see her fighting her most hated rival. After two wins and also coaching against each other on TUF, their rivalry will never stop as they don’t like each other at all. I could see Rousey returning to claim her third victory.
What Zingano wouldn’t do to get that mistake back. A 14 seconds defeat, in my opinion Zingano would fight for free just to get this opportunity back.
Rousey could see this one as a suitable stylistic match up for a return.
This could actually be a fun match up. One I think Rousey would take knowing she could ragdoll Carano and get back into the winner’s column.
Unlike PED Lesnar, the only thing Rousey has been guilty of is being herself!
I for one would welcome the return of an all-time great!