Ronda Rousey suffered her first career loss on Saturday to a woman who previously said that such a defeat would “benefit women’s MMA.” Funny how that works out. Now that the loss has actually occurred, those who believed Rousey would retire undefeated are scrambling to justify it. Or at least, to explain the loss away.
Was the Holly Holm upset a mere fluke? Did Rousey plan to lose all along? A few popular excuses are making their way around the internet in answer to the knockout of the year (if not decade). Here’s a look at and response to the five most popular excuses explaining the Ronda Rousey loss.
— BBC Sportsworld (@bbcsportsworld) November 15, 2015
The one excuse I believe I’ve seen more than all the rest is that Ronda Rousey simply didn’t take this fight seriously. The implication is that the loss came only because the judoka and former UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion underestimated her opponent. I could see why some people feel that way, especially in light of her Jimmy Fallon interview.
Many MMA fans have mentioned that Rousey seemed to “predict” her own demise, laying out Holm’s exact game plan right down to the KO. The only difference is that Ronda’s doubts were proven incorrect. More so than the eerie nature of such an accurate prediction is that it suggests that Rousey was absolutely aware of Holm’s game plan and what she intended. To not adequately train for what you know is coming would certainly contribute to a loss.
However, what if Ronda Rousey did train to the best of her abilities for a match against Holly Holm? I think this excuse is unfair to Holm, an 18-time world boxing champion and truly tremendous athlete.
Another excuse I’ve seen, one that’s insulting to both MMA fighters, is that Ronda Rousey threw the fight because she wants to leave the UFC and head to Hollywood (or the WWE). Anyone who’s observed the competitively-spirited Ronda knows that throwing matches just isn’t her style. She can’t stand the thought of losing. That she lost is probably a massive disappointment. As such, it’s ludicrous to suggest she’d willingly “take a dive.”
Also, having watched the match, it’s hard to argue that she was eager for a loss. Ronda attempted to chase the faster Holly around the ring. She tried to grapple, to dominate, to win. It’s just that Holm was much stronger than previous opponents and not a woman to be thrown around. Instead, Holly Holm managed to take down Ronda Rousey — A fact that visibly upset the former champ.
Someone who appears desperate to win has a markedly different look and style from one desperate for a loss.
— ESPN (@espn) November 15, 2015
One complaint that’s particularly annoying is that Ronda was the victim of a bad stoppage. Not only is this a discredit to both fighters, but it’s also rude to long-time referee Herb Dean. He is one of the best MMA refs in the business, and his judgement is usually right on the mark.
Herb witnessed the brutal head-kick up close. He then watched Ronda fall to the mat where she was immediately pounced upon by Holly. She was being beaten and unable to defend herself properly. These are all the elements that make for a sensible fight stoppage. Letting that kind of beating continue without interference could lead to serious, life-threatening damage to UFC/MMA fighters.
Also, it’s important to recall what was happening before that TKO: Rousey was getting the beating of her career. The UFC commentators agreed that Ronda had lost the first round, and she was in the midst of losing the second. The objective eye could see that she was exhausted and frustrated. She was not dominant. If anything Ronda was being made to look foolish. There was nothing to indicate her bouncing back in any future rounds.
Some MMA fans have said that Rousey lost because she was attempting to stand up and fight against a champion boxer. This could be construed as an excuse rather than a legitimate explanation only because Ronda had the option of not suffering a loss with such a terrible plan of attack. As many observers have pointed out, it’s unwise to chase an experienced boxer around the Octagon with your hands down and chip up. That’s what Ronda did, and she paid for it.
Rousey should have planted her feet and not followed Holm around. That would have made Holly come to her, which could have given her at least a better chance.
— Bleacher Report MMA (@BR_MMA) November 16, 2015
Lastly, I believe some think that Ronda was intimidated by Holly and that she was trying to look and act tougher than she felt. If Rousey had psyched herself out ahead of the match, it could explain why she seemed off during the fight.
Fake ass cheap shotting fake respect fake humility bitch – “preacher’s daughter” my ass – I see… https://t.co/5jWOT4K5od
— Ronda Rousey (@RondaRousey) November 14, 2015
I do think in retrospect that Ronda was concerned about possibly losing. However, I do not believe she seriously considered the threat. Just look at Rousey’s (horribly immature and now totally cringe-worthy) Instagram message for Holm ahead of her humiliating loss. While she was acting out and possibly due to being intimidated, her social media comment didn’t sound like fear; it sounded like arrogance. Perhaps it was the latter that did more to unsettle Ronda than the former.
Note: It was NOT a weird dream. Holly Holm knocked out Ronda Rousey last night. pic.twitter.com/XGNqq3a6PE
— CBS Sports (@CBSSports) November 15, 2015
Excuses and speculation aside, there is one undisputable reason for the shocking Ronda Rousey loss, and her name is Holly Holm.
[Image Via Screen Grab From Ultimate Fighting Championship Official YouTube Channel]