When Holly Holm’s left high kick landed flush on the jawline of Ronda Rousey early in the second round of their UFC 193 title fight, a good number of people cheered as they watching Rousey’s reign as champion come crashing down to the canvas alongside her unconscious body.
The 28-year-old Olympic Bronze Medalist in judo had overwhelmed her twelve previous opponents. Her confidence and brashness made her a polarizing figure. You either love her or hate her, but you can’t deny what she’s done for women’s mixed martial arts and the overall sport of MMA.
UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo was asked about Rousey’s legacy during a recent media scrum in Rio de Janeiro. In his opinion, her legacy, regardless of what happens in the future, is the barriers she shattered on her way to superstardom.
“I think the legacy Ronda leaves behind is that she changed women’s MMA. She put it where no one ever imagined, where even Dana White said it would never be, and it is now,” said Aldo.
Whether Rousey steps foot back inside the cage or not, her lasting mark on the sport has nothing to do with her wins and losses. She was the catalyst that put women’s MMA on the sport’s biggest stage.
“That’s her legacy. She has done a lot for women’s sports,” said Aldo.
Aldo puts his nine-year unbeaten streak and 145-pound title on the line against interim champion Conor McGregord on Dec. 12 in a title unification bout at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.