Rousey’s dominance as a champion, and her mainstream appeal, opened up opportunities outside of fighting for the Judo Olympic Medalist.
UFC commentator Joe Rogan called those opportunities “traps” for high-profile athletes.
“These themes play themselves out over and over again. The traps are all there, but everybody keeps going for the candy, and they keep getting caught in the traps. The traps of Hollywood are always there for any superstar athletes, especially fighters,” Rogan said during a recent episode of his podcast.
“Ronda was, and still is, a giant superstar. She’s this undefeated women’s fighter that’s crushing all the competition. She looks like a destroyer, and then, the (expletive) traps. All these movies start coming out. All these deals start getting made. Books start getting written. All these television shows, and all the traps,” he added.
The allure of Hollywood comes with financial perks, but there’s another price to be paid if you’re an athlete.
“All the traps, they steal little parts of your focus. You’re like, ‘I’m good enough to get by without all that focus,’ but there’s no way because there’s another person like you out there. There’s a lot of people like you out there, and they don’t have those traps,” Rogan said.
Rousey embraces her celebrity status, and may have suffered from the affliction of believing your own hype. Rogan points to Rousey’s game plan against Holly Holm as evidence that the former champion’s judgment may have been clouded by the belief that she was ‘special.”
“Anybody that looked at her fights would see, okay, Ronda Rousey is this fierce competitor with one of the best examples of Judo we’ve ever seen in MMA — I mean, her Judo is spectacular. There’s a reason why she’s a medalist in the Olympics. She’s a sensational competitor. Her grappling is outstanding. Her armbar technique is amongst the best in the world,” he said.
“But she’s knocking out these girls that are nowhere near world class as far as like kickboxing and striking are concerned. Holly Holm is 100-percent world class. She’s an 18-time world boxing champion. I mean, she was a kickboxing champion. She was an MMA competitor for a couple of years before got into the UFC, who was having these ridiculous head kick KOs. She’s a beast.”
The longtime UFC commentator thinks Rousey’s approach in the Holm fight shows that she fell victim to her ego.
“That’s something that happens to people that get so absorbed into the idea that they’re special. When you’re on top, you think that you are the (expletive) person. You’re the woman. You’re the man. You’re the (expletive). No one’s going to (expletive) with you,” he said.
“And then you get cracked. And then you realize this game doesn’t give a (expletive). This game doesn’t give a (expletive) about your charisma. It doesn’t give a (expletive) about the Vegas odds. It doesn’t give a (expletive) about how much money you’ve made, or how many times you’ve been on Entourage, or your movie deals,” Rogan continued.
“When knuckles hit chins, legs to limp.”