By: LaShawn Encarnacion (aka The Dark Knight of Sports)
After her latest dominant performance against Bethe Correia, 34-seconds this time, Ronda Rousey continues to be the “face” of UFC. Her dominance in the octagon reminds most of when Mike Tyson dominated the boxing ring in the late 80’s and 90’s. But we can do Rousey one better, Ronda Rousey in the same breath as Michael Jeffery Jordan. Here is why Rousey deserves the “MJ” talk comparisons (Sorry LeBron James) but she does legitimately.
It is no secret that UFC President Dana White doubted women in the UFC would be successful, in fact quoted as saying such. A young lady, who is the daughter of an Olympic judo champion by the name of Ronda Rousey intended to prove White wrong. Sleeping in her car to train in the art of MMA, combined with her own judo experience, gives us the most dominant UFC Women’s Champion in the UFC’s history and continues to elevate the sport.
Rousey without question is the face of UFC right now. Most recognizable through magazines, television appearances, commercials and movies. Constantly winning awards in Sports Illustrated and ESPN (2015 ESPYs for Best Fighter and Best Female Athlete).
One thing that separates Rousey from every other major superstar is her humbleness and humility. For most it comes off as a weakness but for Rousey it comes off as strong and an everyday girl who can kick some major butt. Fun, open about her roots and why she does what she does. In an old interview on Access Hollywood Live she gets into fighting and her personal life after beginning to blow up in the UFC public eye.
Ronda Rousey continues to change the world of MMA and how the world views women who are in competitive sports. 20 or 30-years ago, it would be the norm to keep women out of physical sports, deter them from even thinking about it but this is 2015 and women’ sports is on a completely different level. From the U.S. Women’s Soccer team to Women’s tennis and Serena Williams to the WNBA and UFC. But few get the worldwide attention that Ronda Rousey does because it is in MMA that it is the most difficult to excel as a woman, especially when the President of the company does not think of it as a possibility.
When Michael Jordan came into the NBA, it was a league that was on its dying legs. Though Magic Johnson and Larry Bird were already making some noise, it still was lacking in financial gain, marketable assets who could bring in the mainstream crowds and pack the arenas so that TV deals and contracts could be done and more money could be put into the league. Jordan brought the TV deals, the sponsors, the international players and was the primary cause of how the NBA is today. This is what Ronda Rousey is doing with the UFC, putting it on the map in her own way.
After all, how many men of UFC have had this kind of opportunity and have been dominant for this long? Chuck Liddell, Frank Mir, Jon Jones, Brock Lesner, Ken Shamrock? Many men have come, made a small impact and then got lost in the shuffle, but Ronda Rousey has arrives and continues to dominate, not just in the octagon but in all the mainstream forms of media and social media. All while continuing to keep her feet on the ground, always remembering her roots and who she truly is … the humble girl who is fighting in memory of her late father … while doing her mother proud.
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