Make no mistake, Ronda Rousey asked for this life. She was the one cocky and on TV talking about how no one can beat her. She’s the one that’s getting a fat paycheck for losing. She’s the one with the persona built around being unbeaten and unbeatable, and then who wondered why people stopped caring as much about her after she lost.
Nonetheless, in an all-time shocker, Paul’s starting to feel bad for her.
I’m having trouble racking my brain thinking of another time I’ve felt bad for an athlete. Extremely rare. Outside of injuries, of course (we all felt bad for Kevin Ware). Maybe Gordon Hayward after he missed the game winning half court shot? Sometimes kickers after they shank a long field goal?
Because at the end of the day, they’ve got a dope dope dope job. But for some reason, I feel bad for Ronda. And I think it stems from the “undefeated” and cocky persona being something that both the UFC and the world forced upon her. We couldn’t just let her be a very good fighter. She had to be undefeated. She had to be the best, with a huge personality, because she was the first female that UFC put on the map. If women’s UFC was going to take off, she had to be bigger than the world. She had to put a huge target on her own back. Now, that’s shattered.
Ronda was never going to live up to those expectations. She wasn’t going undefeated in a sport that’s at it’s peak. She was undefeated in a sport at its genesis. Without Ronda Rousey, we wouldn’t be talking about women’s UFC for a long, long time. Her career’s over. It would be an all-time shocker for her to come back from that. But I feel bad for her that she’ll always be remembered for those last two knockouts, and not how she created the entire female division of the UFC.