Ronda Rousey: We Are All Witnesses

March 5, 2012
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Ronda Rousey StrikeforceThe phrase “We are All Witnesses” was something Nike cooked up to promote one of their marquee stars and sponsored athletes LeBron James. It was plastered all over Cleveland during his time with the Cavaliers. At the heart of the statement, the meaning behind it all is that we as fans were witnessing greatness.

In the sport of mixed martial arts, or more specifically women’s mixed martial arts, some would argue we haven’t yet seen true greatness.

At one time Gina Carano was regarded as the face of women’s MMA, but her heart never seemed truly dedicated to fighting. After a brutal loss to Cris “Cyborg” Santos is 2009, she turned her attention to the acting world. While her contributions to women’s MMA can never be forgotten, she was more figurehead than fighting royalty.

What about Cris Cyborg who dismantled Carano is that fight? Well, unfortunately, while she did obliterate her next several opponents, the Brazilian was beating up on smaller opponents who just couldn’t match her size and power, and then on top of all of that she tested positive for a banned substance that essentially killed her run in Strikeforce and possibly the entire 145-pound women’s weight class.

In the women’s bantamweight division, the title bounced around from Sarah Kaufman to Marloes Coenen then to Miesha Tate before Saturday night in Columbus, Ohio, as Olympic Judo bronze medalist Ronda Rousey snatched the belt in front of thousands live and even more tuning in at home.

It was an electric moment sitting in Nationwide Arena as the crowd lived and breathed with every exchange and every scramble Rousey and Tate went through. It was an amazing experience to move past catcalls and sexist remarks and just watch two warriors battle it out in a classic where the fighters just happened to be ladies.

Leading up to the fight, Rousey was brash, she was unrelenting, and she was unapologetic about everything she said towards Miesha Tate. Was it out of line? Did it ever go too far? Does she regret anything she said?

“I did say things that I wouldn’t normally say to other people because I was trying to hype a fight. That doesn’t mean I don’t think it’s true,” Rousey told prior to Saturday night’s fight.

Everything Rousey did before Saturday night was her personality with the volume cranked up to eleven. She said the things you’re not supposed to say because she was trying to pick a fight, and she got what she wanted.

With the first round dwindling down, Rousey snatched her signature move, the armbar, and powered away at Tate’s limb, ripping and pulling to force the submission. Tate fought valiantly and tried her best to wiggle free, but as her arm literally popped out of place and twisted in a way that an arm is never supposed to go, she had to tap to stop the fight or risk serious injury.

Following the fight, Rousey received some criticism for her willingness to literally break her opponent’s arm and then not apologize for it. In reality, no apology was necessary.

“Miesha impressed me, she’s a tough chick cause that hurts,” Rousey said about the submission. “I’ve had my elbow dislocated before and that’s no fun. The rule in judo is even if it’s dislocated if they don’t tap, then keep going.”

Now Rousey sits on top of the world with the Strikeforce bantamweight title firmly around her waist. She’s already got her next challenge set in front of her as former champion Sarah Kaufman will try to reclaim what she once owned.

Just like all the ladies before her, Carano, Cyborg, Kaufman, Coenen, and Tate, the new champion needs to cement her legacy before we can call her queen. The fact is right now however, women’s MMA needed a star and it found one in Ronda Rousey.

And when her golden moment was shining down, was Ronda Rousey thinking about the paychecks awaiting her or the sponsorship deals she’s sure to land? No, she was thinking about her father and his belief in her so many years ago.

“I really feel like being the best in the world at something, I feel like a fell short a little bit in judo both times, and being No. 1 and being the best was what my Dad always told me I was destined to be. So I felt like a lot my mind was with my father more than with any other accomplishments before,” Rousey said.

The fact is love her or hate her, Ronda Rousey backed up her words during the fight and now has a chance to catapult women’s MMA to a new level. Much like LeBron James, not everybody is going to like how Ronda Rousey does things, not everyone is going to root for Ronda Rousey, but we are were all witnesses to something special on Saturday night.

Women’s MMA has long been searching for their Michael Jordan or Wayne Gretzky, or maybe more apropos their own Billie Jean King or Jackie Joyner-Kersee. There’s nothing set in stone that Ronda Rousey will ever accomplish the same level of success that those greats were defined by during their sporting careers, but she’s off to a good start.

If there’s nothing else we can be sure of, we were all witnesses to the genesis of Ronda Rousey and her claim as the face and future of empowered and talented women in MMA.

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  • alhmiel

    Rousey is the future as was Carano till the man cyborg the hormone induced whatever ruined it. Sara Kaufman if she would win would end woman’s MMA. TOO DULL TO BORING SARA cannot sell a ticket. Cyborg will have to go down to 135 now.

    • elguapo

      Jesus, you’ve been saying this over and over on every thread about women’s mma. We get it, Kaufman knocked you back or whatever.

  • maddawgmar

    Let the poor girl revel in what she has accomplished before you talk about what she will accomplish. Don’t put all this weight on her shoulders jus for her to buckle. Let’s not be premature and enjoy the performances she will put on.

  • sc_f0e989a8a1b8a986f2f5f33065393a41

    That was the Sexiest fight i have ever seen i am a fan of women mma now all i can Say is Wow!! And Ronda Rousey has a really cute butt.

  • markronin

    Why does everything have to be politicized, can’t she just be a great athlete that finally accomplished a dream of hers.

    Kaufman doesn’t have a chance, she’ll end up just like Tate. She says a lot of stupid shit too, I’ll be happy to watch her arm being snapped.

    • KBEsq

      I would tend to agree with you that there really isn’t anything Kaufman can do to stop being taken down and submitted. After all, Tate is miles ahead of Kaufman on the ground and we saw what happened to Tate.

      However, we still have unanswered questions about Rousey on her feet, and Kaufman is miles ahead of Tate on the feet. Furthermore, Kaufman showed a great ability to sprawl and brawl in her fight with Tate. Tate landed some decent shots on Rousey and Rousey did not like it. She may be a Brock Lesnar (aka, someone who folds when they get hit in the face).

      Ultimately, I think Kaufman loses, but I think there is a better shot for her to possible challenge Rousey on the feet. You need more than sprawl and brawl with Rousey, however. You need sprawl and clinch avoidance.

      • elguapo

        I think your Lesnar analogy is spot on. Rousey did not look like she enjoyed that stand up one bit, it will be interesting to see what she does in future if she doesn’t get a takedown straight away.

  • sc_59a096cfc9e225b55a8ee9378768985d

    She has to get her mittens together took to many loose shots if Tate had more snap on her punches it could have been bad…

  • Jeff

    She definitely has alot of work to do on the stand up. Even if she could take punishment and win every fight by arm bar, that would get old REAL quick. This IS MMA not JUDO. She is a phenom on the ground NO DOUBT, but it would be awesome to see her become great in the stand up and become a legend.

  • cyborg would destroy this girl bad

  • alhmiel

    cyborg defeats rousey in a terrible beating destroying woman’s MMA. Why do you think they have the 135lb class?? no one wants cyborg in MMA. or Kaufman.

    • collideoverme

      Did Kaufman recently breakup with you or something? You seem really down on her.

  • maddawgmar

    Cyborg needs to fight in the men division. Aldo v Cyborg great fight… No doubt Rousey needs to work on her stand up, but she does have the chops to take a hit. Tate landed a solid shot on the chin and Rousey walked through it to take her down.

  • alhmiel

    Cyborg probably beats Uriah faber. I would bet there are family jewels hidden somewhere on Cyborg? Cyborg is a lab experiment gone haywire.

  • alhmiel

    Ronda Rousey: $32,000 (includes $17,000 win bonus)
    def. Miesha Tate: $19,000 cannot stop laughing

    • keithkelin

      An internet jack off like you probably makes less the that in a year. so hurrr durrr

  • alhmiel

    Sara Kaufman was suspended for being too plain dull and milky and boring. Strikeforce is sending Sara out for a complete makeover which would take years. don’t they have dentists in Canada? braces? Tanning booths?

    • keithkelin

      here teeth are actually straight ya stupid heeb . nothing wrong with fair skin as it means unlike your mongrel ass she is 100% Caucasian

  • elguapo

    Dude, I think you’ve got real issues. You’re literally obsessed with Kaufman being butt ugly. So what? It’s not foxy boxing, it’s mma. By definition, you are unlikely to be attractive if you’re an mma professional due to excessive punches to the face. But seriously, what’s the problem? My guess is cyborg gave you her full 9 inches and you’ve walked funny ever since.

  • alhmiel

    Tate’s nose is one huge honker better suited for an elephant. glad her arm got snapped as tate deserved it. tate is marginally talented average at best. Now let Rousey fight the wimp limp boyfriend of tate’s caroway. My money on Rousey.

    • johnnybooker

      Hey man, was hoping you could post me a link or two where you destroy men who dope too. You seem to have a true passionate disgust for PED’s…or maybe just for women who don’t fit a certain sterotype. I’ll check back man…def appreciate it.

    • keithkelin

      Nice linguistics “My money on Rousey” lol retard