Holly Holm’s upset at UFC 193 wasn’t just a win, it was a wrecking of Ronda Rousey’s world. It was the equivalent of throwing a cold glass of water on the shared superstar dreams of Rousey and UFC president Dana White.
Fighters suffer big losses on a fairly regular basis in the UFC; it happens and the good ones always bounce back. But this time was different.
Rousey wasn’t a star amongst stars in the company – she was the star. White has made it no secret that Ronda is far and away the biggest draw in the UFC. And not only was she the No. 1 name, but her stardom was built upon a platform of invincibility.
It’d be one thing if Ronda got caught with a lucky right hand amidst an otherwise good performance, but Rousey was decimated, outclassed and embarrassed by a much better fighter. You can’t be the face of a fighting company when other fighters can thoroughly dominate you.
Holm also ruined Rousey’s perfectly laid vacation plans. The idea was for Ronda to relax after another win. She was going to rest up, work on some movies, maybe do some more marketing and enjoy life outside the octagon.
That’s all changed now. First, Ronda needs to recover from her beating – but then she needs to immediately work on her stand-up game and her striking defense. Holm laid out a blueprint on how to take advantage of Ronda’s one-dimensional focus. Now, not only is Holly a serious threat to the former champ, but all the other women looking to knock off Rousey have witnessed a successful game plan.
As for the movies and other business opportunities, Ronda needs to first rebound in the octagon if she hopes to completely rehabilitate her image. While there’s still marketing appeal to Rousey today, questions will hover until she proves she can bounce back. Before the weekend, Ronda was an unbeatable warrior who some say could have toppled even Floyd Mayweather, Jr. As of today, she’s the girl the other girl sent to the hospital.
By Jerome Matthews