Ronda Rousey made a career out of submitting opponents using her trademark armbar lock. Rousey won her first twelve MMA bouts, 11 by first round stoppage and 9 by armbar submission. She looked so unbeatable that she was once referred to as the most dominant UFC champion ever, male or female. She quickly became a household name and then a demigod in such a short period of time. She was unstoppable, until she met Holly Holm at UFC 193 in Australia.
Holm was the former women’s boxing champion who made the successful transition to MMA. She was a big underdog against Rousey, but many felt that Holm’s elite striking would give Ronda headaches. It did. Holm kept the fight on the feet and dominated Rousey. In the second round, she knocked Ronda out cold with a head kick heard all over the world. It was over. Ronda Rousey was invincible no more.
The defeat to Holm was so heartbreaking that many thought Ronda would never recover from it. Although it took her a year to return to the public eye, it was announced that she would make a comeback at UFC 207. By that time, the title had changed hands from Holm to Miesha Tate and then to Amanda Nunes.
The Lioness was a far powerful striker than Holm. Nine of her 13 wins were by knockout. Not only that, Nunes was a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt who also had three submission wins on her resume. Many wondered if Rousey could compete with Nunes standing up because she was far better than Holly Holm who out struck Ronda Rousey. Nunes lived up to her billing. She wasted no time in exposing Rousey’s striking game and knocked her out in just 48 seconds. She out landed Ronda 27-2 in significant strikes and she landed them with a 57% accuracy. In her fight against Holly Holm, Rousey was also out struck 38-17 in significant strikes. Rousey’s striking game was always suspect. Holm and Nunes made her look easy to beat.Since the loss to Nunes, Rousey has kept her silence about her future in the UFC. She however was busy with other things. Like announcing her engagement to fellow UFC fighter Travis Browne and appearing in movies and TV shows. Her latest foray was in the TV series ‘Blindspot’. Even before she lost to Rousey and Holm, Rousey already had movie appearances and TV guestings. She still loves the limelight, no doubt. But she looks ready to shine in another light.
Like women’s MMA pioneer Gina Carano, Rousey has embarked on a Hollywood career even before she lost to Holm and Nunes. She appeared in movies like the Expendables 3, Fast and Furious 7, Entourage and Mile 22. She also appeared in the cover of hundreds of magazines worldwide. In short, she became a bigger star outside the UFC octagon.
With her stunning good looks and infectious smirk, Ronda Rousey can get any job she wants. She doesn’t have to fight inside the UFC Octagon to make millions. She can do so more easily in showbusiness. So why would she still risk getting her pretty face bloodied and bruised when she can make more money by smiling in front of the camera? Ronda Rousey has nothing to prove. Forget the haters, she was the woman who took women’s MMA to the highest level. Now it’s the time for Amanda Nunes and the others to shine.
The women’s strawweight division has become a competitive field. Although Joana Jedrzejczyk has been undefeated so far, she is being led into a rivalry between either Claudia Gadelha or compatriot Karolina Kowalkiewicz. The two will fight at UFC 212 with the winner likely getting a second shot at the champ. Although bookies odds as of May 15th favor Gadelha are at 2/7, there is a chance that we will see another All-Polish showdown. Regardless of the winner the rematch storyline will make the strawweight division even bigger.
So with the dominance of Amanda Nunes and the rise of the strawweight division, women’s MMA doesn’t need another Ronda Rousey KO again. She paved the way for the current women’s fighters and for that she should be forever remembered. But her time has passed. The more complete women’s fighters are here to dominate. Unfortunately, Rousey was a one trick pony with her armbars, so unless she grows an excellent striking game anytime soon, she should stay retired, make movies and make babies with Travis Browne.