Down goes Rousey. The storied Ultimate Fighting Championship fighter, actress, self-proclaimed highest paid fighter in the UFC and Ronda Rousey’s legacy all took a significant blow after her Saturday Nov. 14 knockout delivered by little-known Holly Holm. The legacy of Rousey had grown to incredible heights, as she has become almost god-like in the fighting world. UFC commentator Joe Rogan even said, “Once in a lifetime doesn’t apply to Ronda Rousey. It’s once ever in human history.”
Coming into the fight, Rousey had a 12-0 record and was touted as a 20-1 favorite over Holm, but it turned out to be a true David and Goliath matchup. Perhaps even more impressive than Rousey’s career record coming into the fight were the enemies she picked up and trash talked on her way to the top; going after the likes of Floyd Mayweather, Donald Trump and her eventual superior Holm.
Rousey even went as far as to bash Holm the night before she was knocked out. On Instagram, Rousey said, "…preacher's daughter my ass—I see through your fake sweet act now—you're getting your ass kicked tomorrow, and I'm really going to enjoy the beating I give you.” That second round knockout ended all the talk—and perhaps even ended the legacy that was Rousey. It was the hit heard ‘round the world.
The reality of the situation for Rousey is not so much that she lost, but the way that she lost and how she will respond. Like so many before her, perhaps what made her such a spectacle was the way in which she marketed herself and the way in which she was perceived. She made herself out to be an antihero—someone who everyone loves to hate and an unbeatable force. Rousey’s attitude and presence are her signature calling cards.
Just like former National Football League wide receivers Terrell Owens and Chad Johnson—formerly Ochocinco—and boxer Mike Tyson, Rousey’s personality and the way she presented herself overshadowed what she has been able to do in her respective sport.
Lately, it had seemed like Rousey had been in the media for just about everything except for mixed martial arts; whether it was talk shows, movies or video games. On the outside looking in, it appeared that the fighting itself had taken a back seat. When it comes to fighting, Rousey—known for her ability to fight on the ground—played right into Holm’s strength as a standup fighter. Perhaps this was a result of Rousey’s ego and the fact that she believed she could defeat anyone. That is all well and good, but as the great—and also egocentric—boxer Tyson once said, “Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.”
By no means is this the end for Rousey, but perhaps this is a chance for her to step out of the spotlight and come back with her ego checked a bit. If anything, this failure can act as a catalyst for her to become quicker, stronger and even more formidable.