Ever since Ronda Rousey lost to Amanda Nunes at #UFC207, the prevailing thought on social media has been that the former UFC women's bantamweight champion was helped to super-stardom by facing inferior opposition and was never quite as good as advertised. And when she did face a quality opponent in both #HollyHolm and #AmandaNunes, she was exposed as a fraud. As if there was some master plan by the UFC to find someone marketable in Rousey and manufacture a celebrity.
That couldn't be further from the truth.
Much of the slander is coming from those who aren't hardcore MMA fans and only tune in when #RondaRousey or #ConorMcGregor are fighting. They tend to forget that Rousey's reign of dominance was unlike anything we had seen in women's MMA and the sole reason why Dana White brought women to the UFC. Rousey's first fight wasn't in the UFC and she had to prove herself against top competition in another promotion before the idea of women competing in the biggest MMA promotion in the world could even be entertained.
But, if you prefer to get a little more analytical, let's take a closer look at Rousey's career and her opponents. You'll soon realize that Rousey faced all comers and earned her way to the top.
Let's take a closer look at the career of Amanda Nunes and compare her MMA tenure to Ronda Rousey's.
The woman that dominated Rousey at UFC 207 to defend her recently won title has been made out to be a world beater of sorts by the general public. But the reality is that Nunes (14-4) actually fared worse than Rousey (12-2) did against common opponents.
Both fighters faced Cat Zingano, Miesha Tate, Sara McMann, Sarah D'Alelio, Julia Budd and Alexis Davis. Here are the results.
- Win Vs. Miesha Tate - 1st Round KO (3:16)
- Win Vs. Sara McMann - 1st Round Submission (2:53)
- Loss Vs. Cat Zingano - 3rd Round TKO (1:21)
- Loss Vs. Sarah D'Alelio - Decision
- Loss Vs. Alexis Davis - 2nd Round TKO (4:53)
- Win Vs. Cat Zingano - 1st Round Submission (:14)
- Win Vs. Alexis Davis - 1st Round KO (:16)
- Win Vs. Sara McMann - 1st Round TKO (1:06)
- Win Vs. Miesha Tate - 3rd Round Submission (:58)
- Win Vs. Miesha Tate - 1st Round Submission (4:27)
- Win Vs. Sarah D'Alelio - 1st Round Submission (:25)
Three of the opponents that Amanda Nunes lost to (D'Alelio, Zingano & Davis) were all defeated by Rousey in less than two minutes...combined. Rousey also dispatched of McMann faster than the Brazilian did. The only common opponent that the new champ outperformed the former champion was Miesha Tate, who Nunes finished faster than either time Rousey faced her.
This should immediately debunk the myth that Rousey had been protected. Every opponent she faced had earned a shot, outside of Bethe Correia. But Correia was granted her opportunity simply because Rousey had ousted just about everyone in front of her.
Keep in mind, when Rousey was schedule to face Holly Holm, the MMA community shouted that it was going to be a mismatch. Holm had yet to impress during her UFC tenure while Miesha Tate was passed over due to her previous encounters with Rousey. It's downright silly to suggest that Ronda Rousey was not as good as advertised. She was.
However, styles make fights and Holly Holm's approach to their encounter exposed Rousey's rudimentary striking ability. Prior to facing Rousey, Holm narrowly got past Raquel Pennington and outstruck Marion Reneau. But neither performance warranted a title shot. As for Nunes, she is peaking at the right time. If Rousey were to have faced Nunes in 2015, oddsmakers would have had her as a massive underdog. And rightfully so.
But suggesting that someone isn't as good as we thought is the cool thing to do when an unbeaten fighter loses. It happens all of the time. And, most of the time, the critics are those who don't pay close enough attention to the sport to realize that their claims are fraudulent. While the bandwagon of Ronda Rousey detractors is fuller than it has ever been, it's best to be informed before making a suggestion that is categorically false. Did Ronda Rousey run into two fighters who had the perfect style to take her out? Yes. Does that mean she was protected from those fighters? Absolutely not.
Sometimes, it is those that we overlook that have the formula to take out the best. It has happened historically in combat sports and this won't be the last time we see someone perceived as invincible fall to someone unexpected. That doesn't mean the the unbeaten fighter didn't deserve the accolades.
Our advise to you is simple: