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ESPN: Is America cheering Ronda Rousey’s demise because “she behaved like she had a dick?”

By Zach Arnold | November 23, 2015

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When Buster Douglas downed Mike Tyson at the Tokyo Dome, there was a halo effect but it lasted for a few months. WWE wanted Mike Tyson for Saturday Night’s Main Event and instead called an audible by booking Douglas as a referee to help Hulk Hogan. Remember the milk drinking promo afterwards? Douglas would go on to fight Evander Holyfield and lose. Douglas was not favored heading into the fight and showed up in worse shape than the Tyson fight.

Holly Holm now has a similar halo effect. She’s being celebrated everywhere in America, except of course on Fox Sports where they published an article claiming a link to a company that had allegedly being producing product with PEDs. At the Clippers/Warriors NBA game last Thursday, a huge ovation. The media requests aren’t stopping. And Holly is a really good interview. She shows her emotions in a very relatable way. When Holm defends her UFC title, she won’t be an underdog like Buster was. She will be a favorite and for very good reason.

Meanwhile, America’s Ronda roasting fetish remains at a 10 — especially amongst Milennials.

College Gameday fans ribbed her on ESPN with their weekly signs. Draymond Green and his proud mama poked fun at the beatdown.

The exuberance in celebrating Ronda’s short-lived demise remains a hot topic. We are now into post-Tyson-loss territory. After Tyson lost at the Tokyo Dome, his life went to hell but made his comeback all the more anticipated. You can see that same kind of Tyson-esque comeback energy with Ronda. She’s going to be just fine at the box office.

However, two questions have been raised in the sports media — particularly by female anchors, analysts, and other sorts of TV personalities.

1) Was Ronda Rousey simply a myth created by Dana White?

2) Are people celebrating her knock out because she acted like a man in promoting fights?

The most prominent TV anchor to weigh-in on this situation is ESPN’s Cari Champion, who has a radio show that is a must-listen. She is great at what she does. Cari did an extensive interview with reporter Ramona Shelburne, who hung out with Ronda’s camp over the last month and witnessed a lot of drama heading into the fight. The insights from that interview are worth discussing.

The TMZ moment

The footage of TMZ ambushing Ronda and company at LAX after the return flight from Australia was painful to watch. According to Cari, Ronda slept the entire flight and didn’t say much.

“She looked so broken, so discouraged, she looked like she was never going to recover from this.”

Immediately, the discussion turned to the celebratory attacks on Rousey after the fight.

“Holly Holm kicked Ronda Rousey’s booty like it was a schoolyard whooping. I thought it was a World Star Hip Hop whooping.

“I think it’s interesting that when we hear a woman behave like a man, we’re very uncomfortable. Because that’s all she was doing. She had a fight to sell. How does one act when they’re undefeated?

“OK, I see what we’re doing.”

She elaborated that nobody went after Floyd Mayweather or Muhammad Ali for not being humble in selling a fight but people are going after Ronda for doing so.

“We have already capitulated to what society’s standards are for what women should be and how they should behave. Because Ronda behaved like she had a dick, people didn’t like it. And so, therefore, when she lost it was everybody’s opportunity to say she was too cocky, stay in your lane.”

Woman, myth, legend?

Next came the question everyone is asking in the press: were people sold a false bill of goods?

“Ronda may have been created by Dana White. Ronda may have been the biggest story sold to us and we bought it without realizing there isn’t much there. Ronda isn’t what I thought she was supposed to be.

“Do you think Ronda Rousey created herself? I think it was a happy recipe of her mother, who built that confidence up, who walked a little bit of that fine line, and Dana White. I think Dana White created the image of what he thought she could be because he wanted to sell and he fed her.”

And it drew this response from Ms. Shelburne.

“Women are terrible at selling themselves. Right? When you have a job interview, you’re supposed to walk in there and tell that guy who’s interviewing you why you’re the best candidate for the job. And I have a really hard time doing it whenever I’ve been in that situation.”

Did UFC create the working environment for Ronda to lose?

Everyone has been pointing the finger at Ronda’s bankrupt trainer, Edmond Tarverdyan, as the supposed culprit. Even Ronda’s mother essentially labeled him as a bum.

RAMONA: “I’ve seen [Ronda] with [Edmond] and it’s interesting to watch because… I would be at the gym, asking him a question while she’s training and the round would be over and she’d walk over to him to ask him for instruction on what to do for the next round … and she’d walk over and he’d be finishing a thought with me and she’d sit there waiting for him to finish his thoughts before she said anything and then he would turn to her and tell her what was next. I just thought the level of respect there, like she’s waiting for him to finish his thought before she moved on. She doesn’t say, hey, stop talking to that reporter over there, tell me what to do next. She’s waiting for him. That level of respect and trust, that’s pretty hard to come by.”

CARI: “You described a relationship that doesn’t sound like respect. It sounds like a little girl who doesn’t know what to do and she’s led by her boss or her father. That’s not respect. That’s somebody who doesn’t really know what they’re doing and they need leadership. She got a lot of fame really quickly. Fame came to her quickly at a really young age and she couldn’t say no. She can’t say no. Is she really who we thought she was?”

RAMONA: “The story that I have seen unfold in front of my eyes while I’ve been around her is that this woman is keeping all this stuff together like by a very thin margin. I mean, she uses an analogy, it’s like I’m juggling while I’m on a unicycle. She does so much promotion for the UFC. I tailed her around one day just going from everything she does in a day and I was tired just being in the passenger’s seat. I wasn’t the one actually fighting or doing any of the media stuff. I was like, how do you do this every day? I’ve seen her cry. I’ve seen her break down in the middle of a photo shoot. It’s way too much on her and the way I always read it, that’s why she goes to this gym where she’s been because she’s so comfortable, they show her love, they show her attention. This is a safe place where she knows what’s going to happen every day and the rest of her life is out of control. That, to me, felt like a survival strategy.”

What’s remarkable about this conversation is that it’s still on-going and still something that a lot of fans are really passionate about. Which tells you pretty much everything in regards to how well Ronda will drew when she returns to the cage.

Topics: MMA, Media, UFC, Zach Arnold | 17 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

17 Responses to “ESPN: Is America cheering Ronda Rousey’s demise because “she behaved like she had a dick?””

  1. david m says:

    Ronda deserved the beating she got. She is a hypocrite and a bully and a crybaby. I hope to see Holly knock her out again. It isn’t because she acts like a man, it is because she is a terrible person. She acted like she was a crazed homicidal lunatic at the weigh-in, Holly didn’t flinch, and Ronda started cursing her out. If you want to say that is all theatrics to sell the fight so be it, but not even McGregor gets as insulting as Ronda does. She wouldn’t touch gloves with Holly, even though Holly did nothing to her. She sucker punched her after the bell. She told the last girl she beat not to cry after she had knocked her out. She calls Cyborg a man and refuses to fight her out of fear. She is a petulant bully, entirely devoid of class in victory and reduced to tears of disbelief in defeat. Nobody deserved that beating more.

    • DL says:

      So Rousey uses social media to ridicule and make rude comments about her opponents ( and others ). But when she shows poor sportsmanship, loses in dramatic fashion and gets slammed on the Web people flock to her defense. Cyborg is bashed mercilessly, far worse than Rousey, and I hear few defend her…and she hasn’t even lost recently. I feel no sympathy for Rousey.
      Google “Serena Williams death threats” if you want to defend somebody and see real hate. Hmmmm…I wonder why there isn’t more said about that in the media…

  2. Ronshida says:

    Interesting points raised by Cari and Ramona. A few key disagreements:

    1. “She elaborated that nobody went Mayweather…for not being humble in selling a fight but people are going after Ronda for doing so.”

    This statement strikes me as being wrong. Mayweather is routinely chastised for being cocky. The majority of people hoping Mayweather will lose are those who find his cockiness repulsive (amongst other traits). He gets called out on this repeatedly.

    2. “I think it’s interesting that when we hear a woman behave like a man, we’re very uncomfortable. Because that’s all she was doing. ”

    It might be helpful to split reactions into two groups here. My impression is that mainstream fans were more likely to be offended that Ronda was acting “like a man” than hardcore MMA fans. MMA fans were glad to see Ronda lose because they were getting tired of her shtick of being the greatest and how everyone else is shit compared to her. Ronda 24/7, GOAT.

    Half, if not more, of the gloating over Ronda’s loss was NOT because she was acting like a “man” but because she was acting cocky (and delusional) and couldn’t back it up.

    Many of my friends were rooting for Ronda UNTIL the weigh ins. Things that seemed to turn some fan sentiment against her were (i) her trying to act tough and getting exposed at the weigh-ins, (ii) her Instagram post following the weigh-ins (cheap shotting, fake humility bitch, etc.) and (iii) not touching gloves at the fight.

    I think most of us were just glad to see the hyperbole surrounding Ronda popped. It doesn’t have much to do with her being a woman. Likewise, many people would be thrilled to see Conor lose for similar reasons. Long time MMA fans are tiring of the trend of hyperbole surrounding its newest stars. Being billed as “great” is fine. Being billed as “Unstoppable, a mega-star, the best-ever, not even an army could stop them” leads to some fans wishing you will lose just to get the hype machine to shut up.

  3. 45 Huddle says:

    Different names but the same concept…

    Fans hate guys who are #ssholes and gals who are c#nts. Plain and simple.

    The problem for Ronda is that she was so far ahead of the game…. until she wasn’t. And now she will never be able to catch up. She had time during her dominance to improve her overall game. She didn’t do this.

    Just look at how the pioneers of the other weight classes have done in the history of MMA. Not very good.

  4. Sam says:

    America is not cheering rouseys demise because she doesn’t have a dick. The media is documenting and highlighting the cheering because she doesn’t have a dick.

    Does anyone think that America would not cheer just as loud if mayweather lost??

    America is actually treating rousey equally to how they would a man. They actually are NOT giving her a pass because she’s a woman. The PC-crowd should actually be happy about this. But alas they are not. Typical of the feminist double standard. The media is bringing up the shit rousey is getting because of THEIR bias…not the bias of the people who are equal opportunity trolling her.

  5. Safari_Punch says:

    Rousey was a known commodity before the UFC. Dana White didn’t create sh*t as usual; he rode on an already made star like the PRIDE fighters and others that came from other organizations who were a finished product. Rousey was already headlining Strikeforce shows and was becoming a known to the general public. All the UFC association has done is get her more media engagements and promoter her weekly on TUF, which probably hurt her image as a respectable athlete than help it.

    As for Ronda, it’s hard to feel much compassion for her. She morphed from U.S. Olympian to out of control egomaniac. We really saw her ugly side with the ongoing drama with Miesha Tate and needless drama with Cris Cyborg. Moreover, it’s not just what was said to her past opponents, the competitors in her division, but also her self-created enemies in the public sphere that weren’t even the same sex.

    Rousey “playing the heel” is laughable. A lot of people just don’t like how she comes across in the media. The fans are making her the heel. If the PPV numbers are accurate, they are paying to likely watch her get wiped out — although most didn’t give Holm a chance to do that.

    I’m sure there’s a segment that doesn’t like Rousey, but also a larger segment that hates the UFC for forcing WMMA on them whether they want to watch it or not and they want to see it fail. Those fans hope the casuals that are supporting Rousey move onto whatever their next fad may be.

    Holm winning in dramatic fashion and the fallout from the fight may benefit the UFC and hurt Rousey in the long-run. The media and fans seem to really like Holm as she comes off as a lady, where as Rousey’s image has been damaged by her conduct and is not longer given a pass because now she is a “loser.” Rousey’s plan was to leave for Hollywood, but how long will that demand last? This may force Rousey to stick around in the UFC longer than expected (or desired) with hopes of rebuilding her image on all fronts.

    • Mark says:

      Dave Meltzer said something on his podcast about a study of people who buy Rousey fights and it showed they don’t care about anybody else in UFC and don’t buy any show she isn’t on, they’re just Rousey fans. So people who are fans of UFC as a whole might hate her, but most of the people who pay to see her liked the idea of the invincible woman. So they sound closer to Tyson fans, who did not buy any other boxer’s shows and he didn’t get the “I want to see him lose” buyrate until Lennox Lewis.


    I guess an immediate rematch IS the smart thing to do. Considering building RR back up most likely would fail, since shes been exposed. Unless they throw some real cans at her. Everyone has the blueprint to beat her, she has a lousy coach and isn’t getting any younger, so having her get blown out again by HH would be the big money fight.

    Now if only Aldo folds up the Conner show like the gaudy outfits he wears.

  7. rst says:

    Acting like a man? So acting like an axxhole is a masculine trait? How progressive. Shoulda said acting like a White man and went for the toofer.

    • rst says:

      Why did espn as part of the usual location and politically aligned corporate media conglomerates latch onto and push rousy as a role model for young women so hard?

      Her actual accomplishments were only relatively impressive. WMMA has been around for awhile, but its still young in experience. She was in no hurry to cement her dominance over the shallow pool of WMMA against Cyborg. And she has all the personality of an sociopath who missed breakfast. She’s about as great of a role model as their other favorite inventions; kim kardashian, 16 and pregnant and anita “everybody is bullying me” sarkesian.

      Becasue she was doing something thats usually done by men and most women dont do or want to do? And “acting like a man”/being a rude jerk about it? And now look at the media hiding behind gender cards again, to deflect the blame onto everyone else… again, for culture wars and animosities of their own invention.

      • Sonnen's roided left nut says:

        rst said,

        “She was in no hurry to cement her dominance over the shallow pool of WMMA against Cyborg”

        And why would Ronda be in a hurry to fight Cyborg? Cyborg is yet another (in a very long list) of steroid taking MMA fighters. Cyborg probably has more testosterone flowing through her body than half the country of brazil. At that is saying a lot, seeing the kind of juicers Vitor Belfort comes from there. Ronda had every right to ignore that half male/half female roid thing posing as a female mma fighter. Screw Cyborg.

        That goes for any fighter. In the last few years, the entire sport of MMA has mostly become of joke. A running gag of syringe based roid fighters competing with each other. How is any of that respectable? It’s cheating. All their accomplishments are not legit.

        • rst says:

          Dont assault my sensibilities,
          and common sense with “probably”.

          There are probably tests for that.

  8. DM says:

    I think people have turned on her because they realized they were conned, and no one likes to be made into a fool. It would have been different if she’d fought several close rounds and then been KOed or lost on decision. But Holm made her look like a complete amateur who had perhaps taken a few months of fitness boxing classes. After the relentless hype, of course people are pissed at falling for it. Her character problem just makes it worse. You can be a horrible person in America and still be a hero (Michael Jordan), but you better win.

    • Sonnen's roided left nut says:

      How the hell were people ‘conned’? To persuade people by deception? WTF?

      Were people being deceived with Mark Coleman’s skills when he finally got beat back in the stone age days? Were people being conned about Sakuraba after Wand exposed him? Were people being tricked about Tito’s accomplishments when hefinally lost his title to Randy?


      So why say people were conned with Ronda? Everyone loses sooner or later, especially MMA. The more you win, the more people can figure out holes in your game, spot weaknesses. As well as the fact that continued winning, means more time demands on one’s training schedule.

      The other reality is that Ronda was brought in to head up the woman’s MMA division. And that’s what she did. The UFC lined up the best women it could find, and Ronda beat them ALL legitimately. There was no con job going on. Were these opponents frauds? (I’m sure that’s the next response by people). No. No more ‘fraudulent’ than say Royce Gracie’s opponents were back in his day. Ronda finishing an Olympic silver medalist was more legit (and impressive) than Royce tapping out a fat speedo wearing Dan Severn, who hadn’t even trained.

      Yeah, Royce gets hailed a ‘pioneer’ of the sport of MMA for his deeds. Ronda is getting crap for being a con job.

      Typical bullsh1t from this board.

    • rst says:

      “…they realized they were conned,…”

      There was no con.
      Unless you were willing to be conned.

      A willing victim is not a victim.


    3 ufcs in a row has to be a record. I’m going to try and slog through the main cards for all 3 events and a few undercard mathces. But im thinking by 194 rolls around I may be pretty burned out.
    Anyone else watching all 3 shows? How will you handle the burn out? Will THE big fight seem like just another fight after watching 30+ fights over 3 days?


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