Everyone has heard her name by now. Some have been following, others are just now hopping on the bandwagon—but either way, Ronda Rousey is the center of national attention.
In February, Rousey broke a record for winning a fight in just 14 seconds.
August 1, Rousey beat Bethe Correia in just 34 seconds, which boosted her from UFC star to mainstream American celebrity. The next fight is already in talks, and no doubt it will be extremely successful. Cris ‘Cyborg’ Justino will most likely be the next to join Rousey in the ring, and the public shaming has already begun. American’s are drawn to fighting as a sport, because of the raw emotion that is brought to the stage way before the fight even happens.
Rousey is undefeated, and will stay a public icon as long as she remains undefeated. She is clearly a champion, and deserves the credit she has been given, but what is it about Rousey that has captured the attention of our country?
Is it that she is a female who can kick ass? Is it her skill and talent she brings to each fight? Or is it that she is an athletic female who can be sexualized in the spotlight? Personally, the combination of all three is why I believe she is gaining popularity.
We saw the same thing just a month ago, when the U.S. women’s soccer team won the Women’s World Cup—and when Mayweather beat Pacquiao, AND when Serena Williams won her 21st Grand Slam title at Wimbledon. American’s like to support dominance–we don’t follow the sport, we follow the athlete. How many people can even name competitors of Rousey, Mayweather or Williams? Probably very few.
The question I am still trying to figure out is, how good of fans are we? When an athlete is breaking records, we tune in and obsess over their victories, but how long do we stick around once they fall from the charts? Rousey seems to be the next best thing for Americans to bet on, as our loyalty stays with the champions.