By Zach Arnold | November 23, 2015
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.
— BobbyBlendz (@bobbyblendz) November 22, 2015
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.