From Winning Everything to Doing Nothing: The Rise and Fall of Ronda Rousey
At a time when Mixed Martial Arts needed a star to carry the torch after the departure of Georges St. Pierre and the back to back defeats of Anderson Silva, the UFC turned to a woman to lead the promotion.
Ronda Rousey, a former Olympic bronze medalist in judo and the owner of a million dollar smirk, became the UFC’s top superstar from 2013-2015. She would rule over the competition like no other.
The Baddest Woman in the Planet
Ronda Rousey took the MMA world by storm. She won the Strikeforce bantamweight title in 2012 before being promoted as the UFC women’s bantamweight title following the Strikeforce-UFC merger. After that, she he went on to have the most dominant reign of any MMA champion, male or female. She was considered as the baddest woman in the planet.
Rousey defended her title six consecutive fights, winning all of them by stoppage. What was more impressive was that after winning her rematch with Miesha Tate in three rounds ( the only time she went past Round 1 at that point ), she won her next four bouts in a total fight time of 130 seconds. These included her 34 second knockout of Bethe Correia, 16 second destruction of Alexa Davis and 14 second submission of Cat Zingano.
Overall, Ronda Rousey spent just a total of 1,077 seconds to defend her title six times. Her average fight time of two minutes and 52 seconds was by far the fastest ever in any UFC weight class. Consider this. The men’s Heavyweight division, which boasts of many one punch knockout artists, had an average fight time of 7 minutes and 59 seconds.
Don’t Be A DNB B**ch
At the peak of her dominance, Ronda Rousey didn’t give a crap about what people said of her. One of the most prominent criticism of her was her muscular look. Ronda fired back at those critics with a phrase that became an inspiration for a lot of women:
"I have this one term for the kind of woman that my mother raised me to not be. I call it a ‘do-nothing b^^^^.’ Or, I call it a ‘DNB’ a lot of the time. She’s a b**** who just tries to be pretty and be taken care of by someone else."
She then went on to defend her manly looks:
"That’s why I think it’s hilarious if people say that my body looks masculine, or something like that. I’m just like, ‘Listen, just because my body was developed for a purpose other than f****** millionaires doesn’t mean it’s masculine.’ I think it’s femininely bad-ass as f*** because there’s not a single muscle on my body that isn’t for a purpose. Because, I’m not a do-nothing b^^^^. It’s not very eloquently said, but it’s to the point. And, maybe that’s just what I am. I’m not that eloquent, but I’m to the point."
The audio of that interview was used by Beyonce in one of her concerts. The phrase became a campaign and sold over 50,000 shirts. The proceeds went to the Didi Hirsch charity which work on mental health issues and women with body image issues. The DNB became a symbol of Rousey’s power and influence over people.
Fall of the Champion
But as they say, nothing lasts forever. On November 15, 2015, Rousey defended her title against Holly Holm in front of the largest crowd ever in UFC history at the Etihad Stadium in Melbourne, Australia. It was supposed to be just another easy outing for Ronda but instead, Holm pulled a rabbit under her hat and shocked the world. Rousey was unable to take Holly Holm to the ground and she had no answer for the former world champion boxer’s excellent striking. The Preacher’s Daughter knocked out Rousey at the 59 second mark of round 2.
A high kick to the neck floored Rousey and ended her dominant three year reign as UFC women’s bantamweight title. What followed was a serious period of depression that led to her contemplating suicide at one point. The loss was so deflating that Rousey made herself scarce to media and to the public eye for one year. Then she made her highly anticipated return against the woman who held the belt that once belonged to her.
But instead of getting redemption, Ronda Rousey got smoked by Amanda Nunes in just 48 seconds. She was unable to land a shot nor take Nunes to the ground. The Lioness dropped one powerful punch after another and gave Ronda Rousey her second straight defeat.
Times Have Changed
The times have changed. Rival Miesha Tate has retired. Holly Holm, the woman who ended Ronda’s invincibility, just broke out of a three fight losing streak earlier this month. Amanda Nunes is still the champion. For how long, we don't really know. The landscape of the UFC Women's bantamweight division is very different now from the era Rousey dominated.
Since her loss to Amanda Nunes, Ronda Rousey has been enjoying the domestic life with boyfriend Travis Browne, away from the cruel limelight. In April, Ronda announced that Hapa popped the big question to her while they were under a waterfall in New Zealand. No nuptial date has been set, but with the way things are going, we may hear wedding bells sooner than later.
UFC President Dana White has said many times that Ronda Rousey will never fight again and with her current state, it does appear that White is correct. Rousey recently posted an Instagram video of herself cooking for her man:
Well it looks like Ronda's already traded her MMA gloves for a spatula and her once glorious career for a home maker's life. Can't blame a love struck dame, really. But if this is where she found her true happiness, let her be at peace with it. It’s just ironic though that the once tough as nails chick who did ( and won ) everything is now content with well, doing nothing.