11/16/15 by Matthew S. Vandriak
(Editor's Note: This is a two part story on Ronda Rousey, with the first one below explaining why this loss to Holly Holm at UFC 193 on Saturday, November 14, could be devastating to her career. Tomorrow's story will counter point this one, and go into detail why Rousey and this loss specifically, could save her career).
She seemed to be invincible. Ronda Rousey didn't just win her fights, she destroyed her opponents. In her first 11 fights, only 1 lasted to the 2nd round. Domino's delivers in 30 minutes or less, Rousey delivered in :30 seconds or less in ending most of her fights. She was considered to be one of the most, if not the most, dominant athlete in their respective sport on the planet. Rousey had the appeal of a young Mike Tyson. It wasn't a matter of if she'd win, but how she'd win and how quickly it would be over. But just like James "Buster" Douglas happened to Iron Mike, Holly Holm happened to Ronda Rousey.
At the peak of Mike Tyson's dominance in boxing, he met an unknown in Douglas who stunned the then champion. And even though Tyson would go on to have additional success in his career after the loss, he was never the same fighter in the eyes of the viewing public. That domination. That invincibility. It was gone after the loss to Douglas.
Ronda Rousey had that same level of domination and invincibility associated with her. People purchased her UFC pay per view fights for the same reasons people had purchased Tyson's fights. They wanted to see Rousey destroy her next victim, I mean opponent, the same way Tyson did.
On top of the invincibility and dominance, Rousey has become a household name and has reached rock star status as far as her notoriety goes. Rousey banked $6.5 million for the fight versus Holm. She had recently signed endorsement deals with Monster Energy Drinks and with the Carl's Jr. fast food chain. She's been in movies. On the cover of magazines. Has been visible in all aspects of media both on television and radio. So with this loss to Holm, will all of that take a hit too?
Rousey didn't just lose to Holm. It wasn't like when Tyson lost to Douglas and the fight was called because he couldn't put his mouth piece back in the right way after Douglas knocked him down. There was controversy in the decision to stop that fight. There was no controversy in Rousey's loss. Holly Holm flat out pummeled her. Holm was dominant in the first round, landing strikes and punches that rocked Rousey. In the 2nd round, a thundering kick dropped Rousey followed by Holm landing a few more punches before the referee stopped it. It wasn't a lucky kick or a haymaker. It was a dominant performance by Holm. She made Rousey look like Rousey had made her previous 11 opponents look. On top of that, Holm was an 800 to 1 underdog coming into this fight. Those odds make this loss a much bigger upset than Tyson losing to Douglas was.
Yes, there will be a rematch. And if Rousey wins that there could be a third fight. If Rousey would dominate Holm in those future fights this loss may be forgotten or just chalked up to the fact that it was due to happen. But this did take something away from Ronda Rousey. She no longer will have that aura about her. She may very well be the underdog coming into the rematch. If she should lose that, Rousey may be an after thought in the MMA world with Holm as the new hot commodity.
She was on top of the world. The best in her sport. Raking in endorsements and having the earning potential on the same level as LeBron James according to a recent Nielson survey. But with this stunning loss to Holly Holm, will all of that be gone? Did Rousey lose more than just a fight here?
Time will tell as far as any of that goes, but this loss to Holly Holm may indeed be the worst thing that's ever happened to Ronda Rousey.
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