If you are a UFC fan, you probably caught the Saturday night fight between Ronda Rousey and Amanda Nunes. All 48 seconds of Rousey getting smoked by Nunes will surely define the last fight for her in the UFC. If you have read any of the comments on the fight and of course heard Dana White speak so highly of her, you would hear that she has paved the way for women in the UFC; I have a hard time swallowing this pill.
Now let me first state; I am not at all discrediting Rousey’s talent and skill. She made her mark as a gifted fighter and judo champ. She is an Olympic medalist and has won the majority of her MMA fights in both Strikeforce and the UFC. She won 11 of 12 fights in the first round, 9 of which were by armbar submission.
Now I could throw out statistics all day long on female athletes in MMA and I can show you that although Rousey has an impressive career, there are many women out there more qualified, with better records and more impressive titles that could have led the UFC as the front runner for women in the sport. The big difference? Ronda Rousey was chosen for her marketability. She is an attractive blonde, American, with a nice body, who looks good in a bikini and body paint. There…I said it.
This is where I have a hard time swallowing the fact that she has paved the way for women in the UFC. Amanda Nunes who was defending the belt, destroyed Rousey in under a minute on Saturday. Nunes was paid $200,000 and Rousey $3 million. She did no press leading up to the fight, she stormed out of the octagon after the fight and was not present at the post fight press conference. Rousey is a sore loser and as far as I am concerned, not a role model for any girl or woman. When faced with defeat, she crumbles and disappears rather than rising above like a true champion would. She should have spent more time training and less time doing movies and posing for magazines.
Rather than having a fight to determine the woman’s UFC champion, Rousey was handed the belt and yes, she did defend it; until she was faced with a fighter who could pick her flaws apart. She was hand selected by Dana White to hold the torch for women in the UFC because they could exploit the way she looked. Rousey defended her title along the way but eventually her true colors came through when she was defeated by Holly Holm and hid for a year until she came back to the octagon but was defeated by Amanda Nunes.
Let me just give you a bit of background on Holly Holm. She was a multiple-time world champion in boxing, defending her title 18 times in 3 weight classes. Holm was named fighter of the year in Ring magazine in 2005 and 2006, but never appeared on the cover of the magazine. Do you know who did appear on the cover? Ronda Rousey! And we have seen how good of a boxer Rousey is from her last two fights! Rousey has had zero amateur boxing fights and zero professional boxing fights and she made the cover of the most well know boxing magazine. The caption on the magazine read: “She conquered MMA. Is boxing next?” How does that make sense from any point of view other than business. You might ask why Holly Holm wasn’t chosen to be the front runner for the UFC. She has everything Ronda has and more; an impressive career in both boxing and MMA. She is blonde, American, looks good in a bikini. So why not her? Well….Holm goes by the nickname: The Preacher’s Daughter, as her father is a Church of Christ preacher. She is also married. Maybe the UFC thought posing nude with body paint on for Sports Illustrated wouldn’t be very appealing for a preacher’s daughter or someone who is married.
I give credit for any man or woman who steps into a ring or octagon, but it is a business. I believe Ronda Rousey was not the best choice to be the trailblazer for women in the UFC and I don’t think she has done women any favors. What it all boils down to is looks and marketability. If your face and body won’t sell or you won’t pose nude; you are going to be looked over. Rather than furthering women in sport, it has just proven that women are still exploited as objects. Sad to say but it is less about your skill and more about what you look like. I hope one day when we have women trailblazers in sport, we can look past this point and start appreciating women for more than just their bodies and just see them as talented fighters and athletes.
I can tell you right now, the new champion, Brazilian Amanda Nunes, who is one of the first outspoken lesbians in the UFC, will not get the credit, publicity or exposure in the MMA world like Rousey did; and it certainly isn’t for lack of skill or talent. So why did I want to talk about all this? I obtained a university degree in media studies and journalism with the hopes of being a sports broadcaster one day. Long story short; I learned quickly that the only way to get anywhere in that industry was about who you knew, how you looked and what you would put out…if you catch my drift. After several job opportunities went sour because I wouldn’t fulfill the put out part, I no longer pursued the industry. Sad to say but Ronda Rousey…you were hyped more than you should have been and your talent was real but unfortunately the industry did you no favors. I only hope that one day women will be first and foremost recognized for their talent and skill before anything else.
For anyone reading this, man or woman, I hope that we can raise our sons and daughters to look past how women look and appreciate them first and foremost for talent, skill, personality and intelligence. I think we would all be a lot happier if we focused more on what our bodies can do before we worried about what we look like.
Wishing you all health and happiness in the new year.
The Real Body Project
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