When the mighty fall, it’s very appealing to so many of us. Particularly when the mighty appear a touch too convinced by their own infallibility. Ronda Rousey falls into this category.
So as the dust settles on her first – not defeat, it was really more of a mauling, fans of UFC are now left wondering where she can realistically go next. Holly Holm brought Rousey’s 12-match unbeaten run to a brutal end with a kick to the head that she was never getting up from.
But the self-proclaimed leading lady of UFC will do very well to ever return from such a humiliating defeat. Not simply because she was tactically and physically dominated by someone better than her, not just because in recent victories she has looked susceptible to somebody with the right approach, not even because she refused to touch gloves with Holm at the start of the fight in an act of petulance that has simply added to the embarrassment for her, but because the pre-fight soundbites she has become so fond of giving (which make her sound more like a WWE Diva than a serious UFC fighter), will undoubtedly become a thing of the past, or will be even more widely ridiculed than they have been in the wake of her sad demise. You see the reason for Rousey’s meteoric rise must surely be as much because of her ability to create headlines as her fighting ability. But will anybody be interested in listening to her now? Time will prove everything.
For Holm, she won’t worry about the fate of Ronda Rousey. 10 fights, no defeats, the former boxer is technically far more proficient than Rousey, but also conducted herself in exactly the right way.
It’s a great spectacle to see an athlete capable of backing up their bravado – lik e Chris Eubank (Snr), like Prince Naseem Hamed, even like Cristiano Ronaldo, but what they must beware of is that the day when they eventually do lose, so many will be waiting in the wings armed with quotes they’ve previously given and a whole load of eggs to place in their face. Ironically, there is only one athlete that was never forced to eat their own words – Rousey’s long-time adversary (who has never heard of her) Floyd Mayweather.
It’s hard to see Rousey coming back after such a dramatic fall from grace now. Believing your own hype is such a dangerous thing to do, something that doesn’t appear to exist within Holm. If she maintains the right amount of humility and stays grounded, she will become what Rousey never could have because of her complacency, and her very poor approach to the other professionals within her sport.