I was poking around the internet yesterday, and catching up on the latest news, rumors, and general chatter. First observation: it seems every move Ronda Rousey makes is news these days.
She was joking about wardrobe issues at the Wednesday’s UFC media press event again, after her “infamous” remarks with ESPN Magazine. I see the message boards abuzz, again, and eh, call me what you will but… in this observer’s opinion, hilarity does not ensue.
What’s to be said here? It’s nothing against Rousey, really. She’s an incredible competitor who deserves all the credit in the world for taking women’s MMA on her shoulders and carrying it into the mainstream.
But, like when she flipped the bird at Miesha Tate Wednesday, I guess sometimes she’s just not my style.
But she’s the champion. I enjoy her fights. As I fan, I know you can’t have it all. But hey, you can dream.
Can you imagine if, say, Rosi Sexton were the face & voice of women’s MMA? Do you know her? She’s not quite at the top of the MMA world, but she’s had 16 MMA bouts, including UFC 161. She also has a PhD from Manchester University, an undergraduate degree from Cambridge, and is a practicing osteopath in her native England.
Maybe in a discussion about risks in the MMA game, instead of hearing about wardrobe malfunctions, we’d hear a fighter compare the latest medical studies.
(Sexton gives the world excellent columns on health in the UK’s Fighters Only magazine. Rousey, well.. Rousey gives the finger. “If an opportunity is there, I’m going to play it up,” Rousey said on Wednesday. “I can’t act like everyone expects me to, I have to react to my environment.” Fair enough, I suppose…)
Perhaps you share the opinion that fighters can seem overly bitter; jealous of the attention one another gets. But, Sexton takes it all pretty lightly. Prior to her bout with Alexis Davis, Sexton offered a “translation” of her opponent’s interview which I found much more enjoyable than any trash talk.
But that’s me. Maybe I’m alone out here…
What’s your perfect MMA world?
Maybe instead of one organization at the top of the MMA world, with one struggling to get PPV recognition and the occasional news item elsewhere, there would be several. After the fall of PRIDE, I spoke to a former contender who said, “It is ridiculous we have six billion people on this earth and so many fighters interested in MMA, and we have one world class organization? We need four or five UFC’s. We need three different types of PRIDE, all around the world. It’s sad. The monopoly is choking MMA. Mind you there’s a lot of things you have to appreciate about the UFC and what they’ve done for MMA. But they’re smothering it at the same time.”
Imagine if there were several places fighters could go if in dispute with a prominent promotion, be it over money or whatever else. Imagine more than one approach to this great sport.
Maybe instead of the “cage-fighter” feel with over-the-top violent logos, we’d see a Mixed Martial Arts product that kept the martial arts in focus. More bowing to the four corners and to the opponent. Less talk about cutting weight and cutting promo’s. Last month I described how sometimes Anderson Silva seems to embody the spirit of the martial arts, and sometimes he’s just the opposite. Unfortunately, we ended up seeing more of the latter a few nights later.
But that’s the thing. It’s not a perfect world. But we can dream. Please share yours!