5 Steps to the redemption of Ronda Rousey
The night of December 30, 2016 was a strange one. Not only for the fans of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA), not only for the fans of combat sports in its entirety; but for the fans of sports, in general. In fact, what happened that night, what preceded that night and what followed; influenced not only the world of combat sports, but everyone.
The former Heavyweight champions of the world, be it boxing, kickboxing, MMA, Muay Thai or Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ); everyone had something to say before, during and after the event. Legends in the lighter weight classes in several of the aforementioned combat sports also weighed in on this event.
From Martial arts royalty to Fight Gurus all around the globe, everyone had something to say.
Pundits of the fight game and combat sports fans apart, even the MMA fans had their own speculation about how this event would play out. And, mind you, this includes not only the hardcore MMA fans but also casual viewers of the fight game.
Every single person had an opinion on this event and unless, you have been living under a rock, you know what I’m talking about. UFC 207- Nunes vs Rousey, or rather, should I say- The Return of the Ronda Rousey show.
UFC 207 marked the first time ‘Rowdy’ Ronda Rousey would step foot inside the Octagon, after tasting defeat for the first time in her pro MMA career. Her path of demolition and ruthless destruction in the UFC’s Women’s Bantamweight (135 pound) Division was brought to an abrupt halt by the former multiple time boxing world champion and kickboxing wonder child- Holly Holm.
Rousey’s previously unblemished record was tarnished, her mystique was no more. That fight against Holm on 12 November, 2015 marked a passing of the torch in Women’s MMA (WMMA), or so we thought. The title shifted hands from Holm to Miesha Tate and from Tate to Amanda ‘The Lioness’ Nunes.
The division moved on but Rousey’s shadow loomed large, questioning the legitimacy of Holm’s win. Holm, Tate and Nunes have been beaten, all of them have faced defeat. But the only woman who could set the division free. once and for all, went into hibernation, and that, was Ronda Rousey.
Rousey took more than a year off from competing, however, that doesn’t mean she wasn’t training. A couple of months after recovering from the Holm loss, Rousey was back in the gym. She claimed she had vengeance on her mind.
Her coaches claimed she was back, and she was coming for that belt. Around the time of the UFC 205 mega event, the UFC’s first card in New York, that featured three title fights, news broke that Rousey would return at UFC 207 to take on Nunes for the 135 pound belt.
The UFC started hyping up Rousey’s return. Talk shows, press conferences, video promos; the UFC was doing everything right. Just one thing was amiss in the pre-fight buildup to UFC 207, the main attraction was nowhere to be seen.
Apart from pre-recorded video promos, Ronda Rousey was nowhere to be seen. It was revealed that Rousey had negotiated a media blackout deal with the UFC for this event. This is a rarity in combat sports, especially, for an event of this magnitude.
But Rousey had star power and with that comes leverage in negotiations. However, on fight night, none of that mattered. Nunes stopped Rousey 48 seconds into the opening round of the fight becoming only the second fighter to beat Rousey and, thus, handed Rousey her second consecutive loss.
Now, Rousey’s invincible aura has been shattered but that doesn’t change the fact that she still is one of the best fighters on the planet. Regardless, of what her supporters or critics say, in order to cement her legacy, she needs to come back not to win; but to merely prove that she can come back mentally after a loss.
Now, if Rousey returns to the Octagon, here are a few factors that’ll help her rebuild her sufficiently.