The Ripples of Rousey’s Loss

I‘ve been back and forth about posting this… but here are my comments about the Rousey loss. To me, Rousey losing could be the worst and/or possibly the best thing to happen to the sport of Mixed Martial Arts in recent history.

Lets start with the worst side of things… Rousey losing this fight is not good for the sport of MMA if it wants to become ubiquitous. Ronda has become a catalyst for MMA and taking her title away makes her relatively insignificant for the moment. Her media tour for this event has been awesome, she has been everywhere on mass media. There was even a mention of her at a local entrepreneurial event this year here in Lincoln, NE for goodness sake. There is, and has been no other fighter in UFC history to find their way into the mass media as well as Rousey. (The first time I ever heard of Ronda Rousey was when she made an appearance on G4TV’s Attack of the show a few years ago.) And Rousey becoming a fan favorite in the mass media, is great for growing the sport of MMA. The question is, does her loss change things?

And as far as the best… For the people that have started following the sport because of the above media exposure, seeing that anyone can be beat is huge. I truly believe that if the UFC was smarter about placing quality fights on the most recent Rousey cards it could have benefited more. Just imagine if Lawler vs MacDonald played out right before the unmemorable match up of Rousey vs Correa. You’ve now hooked 60% of that audience and not because of the super fast Rousey Fight, but because of a great bout between Lawler and MacDonald.  Also, Holly Holme is much more representative of the typical MMA Fighter, the respect, the honor in which she represented leading up to and then winning the fight.  But this is not how you sell fights, this is not how you grow a sport.

Personalities like McGregor and Rousey are like candy to the media. These are the kinds of people that are more than willing to put themselves out there and their antics and personalities are what the mass media will grab onto. The sport of MMA absolutely needs that.  For the sport in general, I hope that McGregor wins in UFC 194, but as an MMA fan, I want to see Aldo win. I am torn between expanding the sport and keeping its integrity. It seems to be a double edged sword. It is a delicate balance and it is very hard for a fighter to be everyone. I just hope that the sport of MMA and the fighters who make it what it is, can find a balance between substance and flash.

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