Does Ronda Rousey Get A Fair Shake On ‘The Ultimate Fighter’?

The Ultimate Fighter is midway through its season and fans have gotten a good look at the two coaches, rivals Ronda Rousey and Miesha Tate.

Or have they?

With the latest episode a bit of a recap, let’s recap what we’ve seen of Ronda this season. Rousey, the UFC’s Women’s Bantamweight Champion, is shown as a fearless short-fused, sharp-tongued mama bear ready to throw down for her team of cubs. Nothing wrong with that, right? Ronda’s also come off as petty, begrudging and more than a little neurotic. Additionally, Rousey’s shown her softer side, giving Fathers Day gifts to all the dads in the house, not just those on her team.

So which side of Ronda Rousey is the real one? The answer isn’t as simple as “Rowdy” Ronda Rousey fans or haters might like: all of the above and none of the above.

By it’s very nature, “reality television” is in no way “real.” The term should be changed to the more accurate “unscripted television,” which likely isn’t completely accurate either. It takes days worth of footage and selectively boils it down to around 44 minutes of “reality.” It’s naive to think those 44 minutes are an accurate distillation of the proceedings; things are rarely couched in the proper context, not out of the need for brevity but the need for sensation.

In Ronda Rousey’s case, you can see multiple sides of her with Shayna Baszler. After Baszler’s loss to Julianna Pena, Rousey does a tearful camera aside and looks a little crazy, saying Tate was “smiling at my girl’s pain” after the fight. Pena is not only a member of Team Tate, she’s a friend and training partner from before the show and Tate was celebrating her win, not Bazsler’s loss. Rousey gets pointed for being neurotic,

But Ronda Rousey also consoled her fighter, helped Shayna reflect on the cosmic meaning of a loss on TUF (hint: it’s not a big deal) and showed the world that Ronda Rousey isn’t just in the game for herself, despite Tate’s contrary aspersions. Rousey’s ahead on the cards.

Pena, for her part, opined that Ronda “doesn’t know how to lose gracefully” in an interview.

“I like her style,” Pena said of Rousey. “However, I don’t think it would’ve killed her to be a little more professional.”

This, of course, comes weeks after saying “I made Ronda Rousey cry and I love it.”

Clearly Pena should be giving Rousey lessons in sportsmanship…

Ronda, for her part, knew what she was getting into with TUF, saying “I haven’t seen any of the footage yet, but I’m aware that I’m going to look nuts.”

“How could people possibly know who you are from a couple of clips of a video that people are seeing out of context? That’s no way for people to get to know you, so I’m just preparing for people to get the worst idea of who I am,” Ronda Rousey explained to USA Today, showing more than a little insight into the nature of unscripted programming.

What do you think of Ronda Rousey? Has TUF changed your opinion of Ronda Rousey? Will Ronda Rousey retain her title at UFC 168?

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