Author: Frida Gurewitz
“Rowdy” Ronda Rousey stepped out Saturday, Nov. 14 to fight Holly “The Preacher’s Daughter” Holm in Melbourne, Australia in UFC 193 to defend her UFC Women’s Bantamweight title. Rousey, who has risen to mainstream fame in the last year, had never lost a fight. She was the clear favorite. But Holm kicked her in the head at the 4:03 mark in the second round. Rousey went down. Viewers were shocked, and there is talk that this marks the end of Rousey’s “reign” as a winner despite a long series of wins and evidence showing her amazing fighting skills. But, even with her new critics, Rousey should recover from her defeat and remain in the upper echelon of her profession.
Rousey has built her reputation on being a winner. Of all the fighters that are well known outside of UFC — Chuck “Ice man“ Lidell, Kimbo Slice, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson and Wanderlei Silva — Rousey is the only woman. She has actually grown bigger than a majority of these names and has convinced a lot of first time fans, including my own mother, to watch the sport.
And Rousey’s not just famous for fighting anymore. She was in “The Expendables 3″ and “Furious 7″ and is featured in Maxim’s 2013 Hot 100 and Carl’s Jr. ads, in addition to being slated to star in the reboot of the 1989 film “Road House.” She has won the ESPY for “Best Fighter,” a position previously only held by boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr.
The qualities which have made Rousey popular are her notorious strength and general “bad-assery.” She’s become famous for her strength of character, ability and work ethic. Her quote about “do nothing bitches” in response to body-shamers has become her mantra. Her personality outside of the ring and her winning streak has made her a role model for young girls. Rousey has transcended her status as a fighter into becoming a modern sports icon. But now that she has lost, there are murmurs that her fame will fade.
Some UFC fans have said that the loss is a result of her ego, since she wouldn’t touch gloves with Holly Holm in their match. It’s been predicted that she is on six-month medical suspension and can only return to fighting after she passes a CT scan showing no sustained brain injury. Jose Aldo, UFC featherweight champion, said he “think[s] it’s really hard for her to return to fighting” after the knockout. Critics are saying this is the end of her career, and the world has more or less turned on her now that she’s no longer the perfect champion they idolized.
However, despite the medical repercussions saying otherwise, I don’t think this is Rousey’s last fight. She has brought too much attention to UFC and to MMA to tap out now. One loss isn’t going to diminish the other wins — she’s still the same person that won twelve fights, the bronze medal at 2008 Summer Olympics in judo and was the first ever UFC Women’s Bantamweight champion. We will see her again.
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