Ronda Rousey’s 48-second loss to Amanda Nunes was spectacular, sad, and shocking. Seeing one of the UFC’s more iconic figures dismantled so quickly was not what anyone expected, even those who felt Rousey was a ‘hype job’. Ultimately, it is one thing to lose, it’s another thing entirely to look completely out of your depth, as Ronda did as she ate shot after unanswered shot from Nunes. It’s very hard to see where Rousey goes from this point.
But whilst Rousey athletically can perhaps be criticised, her cultural impact should be recognised and celebrated. Five years ago, UFC was nowhere near the popularity of today, and what’s more, female MMA was barely noticed by the mainstream media. Now, when athletes like Rousey, Cris Cyborg, Joanna Jędrzejczyk, and Paige VanZant fight, people sit up and take notice. The women’s divisions in UFC all have good fights to be made, and now that Rousey has blazed the trail, expect to see them kick on.
Contrast the attention and prestige of women’s MMA with that of boxing. The likes of new professionals Katie Taylor and Nicola Adams, brilliant athletes, are relegated to fighting foes way below the standard they would face in the amateurs. In the past, great female boxers such as Anne Wolfe have boxed for small purses on the undercard of more heavily promoted male boxers.
Regardless of how her in-octagon legacy is viewed in the future, I hope Rousey is recognised for being the cross over star female combat sports was crying out for.
Speaking of boxing and MMA, the tiresome ‘feud’ between Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather Jr rumbles on. Both men are superb showmen and brilliant media manipulators. But the fight is unlikely to ever happen, and seems to be attracting comments from the most odious of fight fans.
MMA and boxing and two distinct disciplines, for a start. In an Octagon, McGregor would defeat Mayweather with ease, and vice versa should they meet under the Queensberry rules in a squared circle. Not to mention the discrepancy in ages, activity (Floyd hasn’t fought since September 2015), monetary demands, venue, who’d promote the fight. It’s a non-starter.
I hope McGregor concentrates on UFC and takes on Nate Diaz in a rubber match. How about a super fight with a returning George St-Pierre? How about defending his new lightweight crown? The possibilities are endless.
As for Floyd, I hope he remains retired. Not because I don’t think he is a beautiful boxer and one of the very best (but not THE best) to ever lace up the gloves. I just want him to enjoy his money and retirement, and concentrate on his burgeoning promotional and managerial ventures.