Records are there to be broken. No matter how good you are, one day you will find your match. There only a few records in sports that still stand, especially if you carefully choose your opponents. But when your opponent is in the hands of your promoter, who wants the best for his promotion, then chances are your reign will one day or another come to an end.
Needless to say, Ronda Rousey probably had a piece of humble pie yesterday. Or maybe two pieces. I am a big fan of Ronda, I think she’s awesome, but her arrogance was putting me off. The same level of arrogance that Anderson Silva and Jon Jones had when they were champions. Yes, you’re good, you’re damn good, but there are ways to come across and most often than not, she chose the wrong way.
The MMA world is still in shock over the way Holly Holm destroyed Ronda Rousey last night at UFC 193. The baddest woman on the planet met her match. There was no pressure on Holm. Yes, she was undefeated, but a loss would have meant just another number who went down to the great Ronda Rousey. As some would say, there’s no shame in losing to Rousey.
All the pressure however was on the defending champion. Every time she steps in the Octagon, “Rowdy” has to surpass expectations, be it the amount of time needed to tap her opponent, the way she ends it, etc. Those are unfortunately the benchmarks she set for being so successful. When Meisha Tate took her to a second round, some were “disappointed.” Tate is a great, great fighter, but on that day, Rousey was better.
Rousey is still a great fighter, possibly the best female fighter on the planet, but last night, Holly Holm was the better fighter. I can name three fights off the top of my head where the favorite champion got owned by the challenger just like Rousey yesterday.
Georges St. Pierre vs Matt Serra, UFC 69 on April 7, 2007 in Houston, Texas. Serra, fresh off his TUF win, inflicted St. Pierre’s second loss and took his UFC Welterweight title in round 1 after just 3:25 on the clock.
Brock Lesnar vs Randy Couture, UFC 91 on November 15, 2008, in Las Vegas, Nevada. Couture was considered one of the best Heavyweights in mixed martial arts history and Lesnar, in his third UFC fight, took Couture out in the second round after the third minute, becoming the new UFC Heavyweight champion.
Anderson Silva vs Chris Weidman, UFC 162 on July 6, 2013, in Las Vegas, Nevada. Silva is often referred to as the greatest of all time but after 14 successful title defenses, 29 year old undefeated Weidman shocked the world by finishing Silva in the second round after 1:18.
Holly Holm’s win over Rousey yesterday probably tops them all simply because the way Ronda Rousey is portrayed by the media as this indestructible woman. Holm pretty much took her to school and out fought her opponent from the first second. Now mind you, Rousey’s road to UFC 193 was far more difficult with countless media appearances and other distractions, but that’s no excuse. It’s part of the game of being a successful champion.
For the UFC it was probably the best outcome. Why? Rematch money. There are already rumors that Holm vs Rousey II will be booked as the main event for UFC 200 in July. The July UFC pay-per-view is the most important one of the year for the company. Having two females headline that pay-per-view is the equivalent of having two WWE Divas headline WrestleMania. If they keep both fighters protected over the next seven months, the rematch will do monster money both in gate and PPV revenue. For the UFC, I don’t think there was a better outcome. Rousey’s camp may differ, but for the promotion whose business is coming up with compelling fights, this is a great story.
Think about the Jose Aldo vs Conor McGregor fight that was supposed to happen a few months ago. So much money spent on promotion and then Aldo pulled out due the injury. McGregor won the Interim Featherweight title, setting up a McGregor vs Aldo title for title fight. I guarantee you the fight now will make money than it was originally going to make.
No matter what happens, the next time Ronda Rousey fights, no matter who it is against, she will do a lot of money for the UFC. Fans will tune in to see if her loss against Holly Holm was just a blip or if it’s something more serious. A second defeat in a row will surely raise some eyebrows. She has never tasted defeat in mixed martial arts and it will take some time for it to sink in. Rousey has to learn how to keep her emotions in check and not let anything come in the way of her game plan. She clearly lost it at the weigh-ins and said things in interviews that she might regret now. Everyone is beatable because everyone can have a bad day at the office.
Before the fight Rousey had already said that she will be vanishing for a few months and make people “miss her.” She has movies to do, and maybe who knows, WrestleMania 32 as well. Rousey, now with a record of 12-1, is still a superstar and a big draw.
A lot of champions have fallen…but it’s how you get back up that counts. We all have to just wait and see how Rousey rebounds from this loss. And yes, I’m still a fan.