UFC190 Shows Why Ronda Rousey, The ‘Antihero,’ Matters

Don’t cry,” Ronda Rousey told an unconscious Bethe Correia when she laid her flat at the 34 second mark of the main card of UFC190. Rousey was mirroring Correia’s exact words to her at the UFC190 media day, and while it was the ideal “mic drop” moment, it only went to further why Ronda Rousey matters so much.

The title card matchup between Rousey and Correia at UFC190 ultimately marked Rousey’s 12th octagon victory, but it only further underlined why Rousey, who is indisputably an antihero, has become such a big deal. Never mind the fact that, all told, Rousey has spent a scant 25-plus minutes beating her opponents in the last 12 matchups, with most bouts lasting around 30 seconds to a minute. When it came to UFC190, though, the bout was personal. Correia made it so by screaming “Don’t cry” at a stony faced Ronda Rousey at the UFC190 media day and commenting in one fateful interview leading up to the bout that she hoped Rousey would not kill herself once Correia handed her the defeat. As is well known, Rousey’s father committed suicide when the UFC megastar was just eight years old.

At UFC190, Rousey wasn’t just fighting to retain her title then. She was fighting to defend her father’s honor. She was fighting for the late “Rowdy” Roddy Piper, who gave her his blessing when she was first starting out to use the “Rowdy” moniker. Piper died July 31, the day before UFC190 was set to rock in Brazil. UFC190 only further solidified Rousey‘s image as a woman not to be messed with.

However, she was not always that way. Rousey has been quite open about her struggles with self-confidence as she grew up, and dealt with substance abuse and eating disorders when she was younger. She now supports charities that support those who struggle with eating disorders, and admits to being “blown away” when she’s referred to as being arrogant and cocky. Rousey says that she has since realized that her muscular body actually is pretty cool.

“I think it’s feminist-ly bad-ass… because there isn’t a single muscle in my body that isn’t for a purpose,” Rousey said.

She has always been sports minded; Rousey started her training as a judoka under her mother, world judo champion Anna Maria Del Mars, when she was younger, and made history when she became the first woman to win an Olympic medal in the sport.

What was really interesting about the Rousey-Correia UFC190 match was exactly how the bout ended. With her Olympic-level takedown skills, many pundits had expected Rousey to end the UFC190 matchup with a takedown and an armbar submission. Instead, she overwhelmed Correia with striking, knocking her out with an overhand right to the temple.

That was not Rousey’s initial plan when it came to UFC190, however. She had promised to make Correia pay for her comments in a slow, drawn out and painful way, but really, Ronda Rousey is just too good. She knocked out Correia standing up and with a flurry of fists – something that could spell bad news for anyone taking Rousey on in the future.

As for lessons learned from UFC190, Rousey told UFC190 commentator Joe Rogan that she hoped Correia and other fighters got the message when it came to discussing her family prior to a bout.

“I hope that nobody really brings up my family anymore when it comes to fights,” she told Rogan. “I hope this is the last time.”

It is that sort of dedication that Ronda Rousey has shown to her craft throughout her UFC career that made the title card matchup for UFC190 so compelling, and why Rousey matters so much.

(Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)