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Ronda melts down the internet; if UFC can’t convince fans of real challengers, then what?

By Zach Arnold | February 28, 2015

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A crazy amount of storylines from Saturday’s UFC 184 event at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

First, Brock Lesnar showed up to meet Dana White. Lesnar was reportedly supposed to appear on RAW this past Monday, only to not appear on television. Here’s Lesnar playing off two very powerful businessmen with ease and he’s doing it around Wrestlemania time. WWE has always structured their booking for Wrestlemania. To have such upheavel with their champion heading into the Santa Clara event is remarkable.

There was madness all over the card from top to bottom. Ronda Rousey dispatched of Cat Zingano in 14 seconds, leading ESPN anchors to pontificate if she should be fighting male fighters now. If you thought last year’s malarkey about Ronda fighting Mayweather was scripted PR insanity, the calls now for Ronda vs. male fighters is going to ramp up in a big way. Interesting that ESPN anchor Kevin Connors point-blank asked Chael Sonnen if UFC pulled the wool over the eyes of the public by trying to sell Zingano as a credible challenger to Rousey.

The semi-main event featured the UFC debut of Holly Holm. Before the PPV card started, Dana White remarked that he would expect to see some jitters from Holm and that it may take some time for her to get acclimated to fighting on such a big stage. He couldn’t have been more on point. She’s not ready to fight Ronda at this point in time.

It’s obvious that Cyborg is who Ronda will face in her next big fight, but can Cyborg make weight or will they bite the bullet and fight at a catchweight of 140 pounds? If Cyborg can’t fight until the end of the year against Ronda, who do they match Ronda with on one of their Summer cards?

Addendum: Bethe Correia makes a lot of sense. I’m not sure if the public will buy her as a serious threat even though the heat between her and Rousey is very real. It may not matter now, given that Ronda is reportedly going to film a movie soon.

Interesting headline at Fox Sports: Ronda Rousey is the UFC’s Mike Tyson but that’s not necessarily a good thing

Jake Ellenberger and Roan Carneiro brought the chokes and it was a little scary to see what was done to Mark Munoz. The referee, Jerin Valel, let the choke go on for way too long. He was third-in-line behind the usual hands, Big John McCarthy and Herb Dean. Jason Herzog did not referee on the card.

Topics: Media, MMA, UFC, Zach Arnold | 34 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

34 Responses to “Ronda melts down the internet; if UFC can’t convince fans of real challengers, then what?”

  1. Jonathan says:

    Of course they pulled the wool over folk’s eyes. That is the job of the promoter….to promote the fight and make it appear as though the challenger has a chance to win the fight, even when it is obvious that they are so out-classed and out-matched, that that is simply not all that likely.

    Also, Zingano comes out really bad in this. All of the trash-talking. The poor game plan, and horrible execution. This fight/loss for her could be just as bad as Dan Hardy’s loss to GSP.

    Also, I think that Rousey is in every single female fighter’s head, and that has caused them to think that THEY cannot win, so when the fight starts, they just throw it all out there and gets taken out by a fighter who is far more skilled and has a much better gameplan.

    • David D says:

      What the hell “trash-talking” did Cat do? And how did the UFC lie in promoting a fight with a legit #1 contender who was unbeaten and a finisher? It’s not like they were doing the Silva/Weidman “fighters say he has a chance!” build (which turned out to be true); it was “Cat is the biggest threat so far”, which might still be true, albeit a very low bar to clear in a weak division.

    • Jonathan says:

      I did not mean for it to sound like I thought that they had lied, only done their job as promoters, which is to hype the fight and get folks.

      I guess if I saying that they did in fact, then I also want to say that I don’t think that they were wrong to do so.

    • rst says:

      “All of the trash-talking. The poor game plan, and horrible execution.”

      Thats all relative. I dont watch wmma, but I heard that zingano is one of the best.

  2. rst says:

    Very impressive.

    BUT, could she beat a sentient ham sandwich?

    rousy would have to be the favorite being the champion and all, but a ham sandwich might have one of those doughy buns that take a while to chew on.
    And Mayonnaise is slippery.

  3. 45 Huddle says:

    Why would anybody buy a Ronda Rousey headlined PPV? The female competition isn’t good enough to make it worth the price.

    She works as a co-main event…

    • Mark says:

      She’s a media star. The casuals love her, and anybody getting the “80s Tyson” tag put on them is a good thing.

      Any Rousey fight isn’t even in the top 10 of crap lopsided fights UFC has sold. They’re great at turning crap into gold.

  4. Mark says:

    Brock is pulling a play out of the Hulk Hogan playbook: string Vince along (and Eric Bischoff along in 1998 when he got that enormous WCW raise) thinking you’re thinking about going to the competition, and he’ll pony up the dough. He’s not coming back to MMA. He’s got such a sweet deal: he barely works and makes an insane amount of money. Why would you leave that?

  5. Chuck says:

    So, last night’s card didn’t have a “fight of the night” bonus. They instead gave four different fighters performance of the night bonuses (I believe all being submissions). Has that ever happened since Zuffa started giving out FOTN bonuses? I mean there being no FOTN?

    After a few more fights Holm might be the only woman that could be a threat to Rousey. She is tall, has range (especially with those kicks), and uses her range well. Good striker too obviously. I don’t know really anything about Correia. Seems to be good.


    RR reminds me of Frank and his destruction of top guys like Hendo Jackson and Igor back in the day.
    Her opponents just don’t understand, they are clueless about judo, hard to call them mixed martial artists when they just rush in like Tank Abbott.
    That being said, RR performs as a true martial artist. Her displays of technique over ferocity is what its all about.

    • Jonathan says:

      I do think that Women’s MMA is about 5-10 years behind Men’s MMA in terms of skill and in-cage knowledge/ability. The only thing different is that there are gym’s now teaching the whole of MMA and not just one discipline or another. In 5-10 years, we will be seeing much better Women’s MMA fights and champions.

    • rst says:

      “…back in the day….”

      There is a certain “back in the day” quality to the rousey phenomena. A regression if you will.

      • rst says:

        It may be progressive for Chicks and stuff? (Although I beg to differ even on that issue…), but it doesn’t move MMA as a physical, technical sport forward. Its a throw back. To UFC 5.

  7. JV says:

    It’s hard to take WMMA seriously, it’s mostly treated as a gimmick, the competition and skill level is weak and embarrassing. Instead of saying “World Champion” it should say “Champion of a couple of people out there”. I know it sounds harsh and I hope that the women who compete get the respect that they deserve one day, but it’s not going to happen with the way the UFC promotes them and how disinterested they actually are in building a real female division.

    • rst says:

      I think the chicks take it seriously. Its offensive to think that they dont. But its just the small pond thing, and something that chicks generally dont do.

      The same way there are not a lot of heterosexual fashion designers. There are just cultural things that people generally do.

  8. Zack says:

    Did Mike Tyson ever tell people they need to lose 10lbs to fight him?

    Sucks to say, but I’m completely over WMMA.

    • Chuck says:

      Most of Tyson’s opponents were quite a bit heavier than he was. He was always I think about 215-220 lbs. That’s heavyweight for ya.

    • Mark says:

      Roidbeasts don’t get any sympathy.

      Tyson was a boxer, boxers can use their speed as an advantage. In MMA with grappling it wouldn’t be a fair fight the same way GSP/Silva wouldn’t be a fair fight if Georges/Ronda had to pack on pounds. And nobody thinks any less of GSP for not doing it, since Silva would have just destroyed him if that fight happened in 2012.

      • edub says:

        GSP was in a forever deep division though, and is 15 lbs away from MW. Plenty of people thought less of GSP after not making the fight the last time at 178 or 177.

        GSP also never went out of his way to slam Anderson. He did one interview in about 2008 talking about fighting Silva, and he did a few more about moving up around the same time. From 2009 on, he never had a negative thing to say about Anderson and always downplayed the fight.

        Ronda has justifiably murdered Cyborg for the Roid use, but she has also slammed her for many other things when it was brought up to her in interviews.

        • Mark says:

          She was trash talking her with the “she not even a woman, she’s been on steroids so long she’s an ‘it'” comment (which would have gotten a male fighter saying that in trouble.) I didn’t take it seriously. Plus, GSP has a completely different personality from Rousey. GSP probably wouldn’t get mad at you if you ran over his dog.

        • edub says:

          “GSP probably wouldn’t get mad at you if you ran over his dog.”

          I feel like this could start a hell of a meme.

      • terry jacks says:

        >it wouldn’t be a fair fight the same way GSP/Silva >wouldn’t be a fair fight

        Diaz just finished unscathed from a juiced on a cocktail of drugs Spider but GSP-Silva wouldnt be fair?
        If Nick could fight him, there is no reason GSP didnt.
        Well, other than not wanting to lose.

        And please STFU about steroids. The list of users is long and all have gotten 2nd chances with many getting title shots. Getting busted never stopped anyone from getting a shot IF IT SERVED the needs and wallets of the UFC. Thats the only important thing.

        Only thing more stupid is the ‘someone will die’.
        No, someone could die from getting kneed in the face. Or getting pounded while they lay motionless like Bisping.
        Idiots make it seem like it will make you able to punch through a brick wall.

        Ricardo Morais was one huge hulking beast and still punched nowhere close to Aleksandar E. who looked like he didnt juice or even train. Chael Sonnen didnt punch harder when he was juicing.

        This weekend convinced me that WMMA holds zero interest.
        The Invicta card was just sad. Holly Holm being touted as the next big thing because of better boxing and crappy kicking (or should I say pushing) is more of the same hype machine.
        Rousey’s career path is no different than Cody One Trick Pony Mckenzie except that once he moved to half decent fighters his one trick wasnt enough. In woman’s MMA, there is no ‘next step’. Still cant tell if you if Rousey can take a punch or do plenty of things simply because the caliber is just so bad (Im looking at you Alexis Davis who got a title shot for god knows why but then lets be honest, Spider fought cans like Patrick Cote and the Lutter whose claim to fame was beatin Cote.)

        Thankfully we were spared the circus that she and Dona White wanted to create with Gina Carano who hasnt fought in ages (she so wanted this ‘challenging’ fight that she was willing to go up a class)
        There is NO ONE out there I want to see in WMMA other than Rousey-Cyborg.
        And if I look at last years PPVs, the UFC doesnt think any of them are worth putting on a main card if its not the champ. If Rousey retires or gets dethroned by Cyborg, I wouldnt be surprised if they just decide to pull the plug. And if Rousey does win, the same problem becomes ever worse “Now what?”

        Paid for the Diaz-Silva PPV but this card was absolutely not worth forking good money. And neither are any other card until the stacked 187 one. Thanks to our chinese and russian friends for the feeds and videos.

        • rst says:

          “If Nick could fight him, there is no reason GSP didn’t.”

          Nick has nothing on the line.

          How romantic is you and andy challenging a smaller retired man?

          It doesn’t reflect well on brazilians, I’ll tell you that much.

        • rst says:

          “…but GSP-Silva wouldnt be fair?”

          It wouldn’t be fair the same way silva gets more credit then he deserves edging past a swollen 170 jacked out on PED’s.

          And smugly suggesting a rematch.

  9. Safari_Punch says:

    Rousey hasn’t fought anyone nearly as physical as her in any of her fights. While Rousey has outstanding takedowns and can apply armbars from pretty much anywhere, people often fail to mention her aggressive brute force that she imposes on her opponents.

    The only one capable of matching her brute force presently as far as I know is Cyborg, who could knock her loopy. The UFC is hell bent on keeping Cyborg out of the UFC regardless if she were to make weight. Maybe that would change if they thought Rousey was going to leave for movies for good like Gina Carano did. But it’s probably a last resort, as the UFC would probably want someone more marketable (ie attractive) to beat a Rousey who has her mind set on her movie career.

    Outside of Cyborg, I think the only real challenger would be an Olympic caliber judoka that knows how to neutralize her takedown game and counter her arm locks. There has to be some French judokas out there that could circle out of her attempts and have the physicality to really give her trouble. I wonder if Edith Bosch has ever been approached about being a foil of Rousey’s?

  10. rst says:

    “…but can Cyborg make weight or will they bite the bullet and fight at a catchweight of 140 pounds?”

    It seems to me this is a similar situation to what anderson was in. True 185 was his natural weight, and technically he can stay at it as long as he can weigh-in at it. But he was so vastly better then anybody at 185 through pretty much his entire reign that he could have afforded to give up a size advantage against 205’s that would have been offset by his speed and skill. I didn’t consider asking GSP to go up to meet him at 185 equivalent because 170 still had a lot of tough guys who were still making GSP work for it. GSP wasn’t playing air guitar and knocking people out with his big toe.

    Obviously chicks at rousy’s current weight cant compete with her. She’s got room to fit a little more challenge in there, like a going up a few pounds for instance.

    • rst says:

      There is no 145 chick weight class.
      If Cyborg beats rousy, what is she champion of?
      Why would UFC give you a stage to unhinge a progressive golden goose?

      Cyborg doesn’t have much in trade.
      As far as a business that has to make a profit to stay in business.

  11. rst says:

    So Andy wants a rematch with Diaz now? I’d totally watch that! I thought the first one was the most entertaining fight of his career outside of the hendo fight. (Flash KO’s are viscerally exciting but the quality of comp gives that any weight.)

    Thats what its all about at this point. Interesting boutique match ups. He doesn’t beat Lyoto, alligator, Weidman… A Gegard fight would be interesting to me, but a Diaz fight is funner to watch.

  12. David M says:

    It is no secret that Ronda is scared shitless of Cyborg. Who can blame her? Cyborg would beat her senseless. Who remembers the video of her powerbombing Tito Ortiz when he had her in a triangle choke? She would rag doll Ronda.

    • rst says:

      Or rousy might get her in am armbar.
      The thing about an armbar, it doesn’t matter how big you are.
      Thats just geometry.

  13. rst says:

    Where are the numbers?
    I dont know much about the numbers,
    but why isn’t UFC bragging about the numbers by now?

    • rst says:

      Now that is impressive.
      I haven’t seen it but from what I heard that was easily worth 59.95!
      Because it was really progressive, and thats worth money.
      Anita sarkeesian got half a million dollars shoved in her pocket in 15 seconds on kickstarter to make progressive video’s about videogames, and never even had to make them. But kind of like rousy she was on the colbert report and the front page of the new york times for her 15 seconds of effort.

      UFC is poised on the edge of a profitable new chapter as a business model.
      Becoming the Glee! of “professional sports”.
      That might finally get them into new york.

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