Why women’s MMA needs Ronda Rousey to establish its legitimacy

Look!

First and foremost, I’m telling you right now that you probably aren’t going to like what I have to say, and I really don’t care.

And the reason is because, I’m telling the truth and the truth is this.

Women’s MMA will not be considered legitimate until people like Olympic Medalists Ronda Rousey and Sarah McMann make their impact on the sport, and the sooner the better.

What about Cyborg?

Look, Cyborg was on the way to truly legitimizing women’s MMA. She really was, but after her recent drug scandal and testing positive, we now have to question the legitimacy of all of her wins. And if I was one of the people that she beat, I would petition in for a “no-contest”, but that’s just me (hint-hint).  Cyborg did some great work, but what she ultimately did is set women’s MMA back about 4 years.

How?

Well, she just literally killed the whole 145 division in Strikeforce. First, she cheated and ran everybody out of the division and then she killed the division because she got busted for steroids. Now there is no 145 pound division. If that doesn’t rank up there with one of the worst moments in women’s MMA, I’m not sure what does.

Whether she apologizes or not, she has done an irreparable amount of damage to the growth of the sport. Where are all of these 145 pound women supposed to go who are and were training at home for the chance of making it to Strikeforce (which for them is the pinnacle of their sporting opportunity)?

They have nowhere to go! This is horrible. And please understand that there are a couple of young women out there who just cannot make 135 pounds and now their opportunity for the big time is finished.

And when it comes to the legitimacy of the division, Cyborg was the measuring rod that was in place and was used, but she gave us a “false read.”

With that being said, we don’t really know how good Gina Carano is or how good any of her opponents were because the barometer for excellence, the champ, could have been possibly tainted.

So with that being said, the question is, how good is women’s MMA? And is it really legit at this time?

Well, Zuffa and Strikeforce think it’s worth developing, but the UFC does not think it’s worth their time. And…. although I would like to see a female fight or two, I just cannot argue with D-Dub (Dana White) and the Fertitta brothers at this time.

They are correct. When they say the divisions are not deep enough, what they are essentially saying is the following: There are not enough quality, good and legitimate female fighters.

And they are correct in saying that.

Now we don’t have that problem in the sport of Judo and women’s wrestling no longer has that problem either.

And just like the men’s side of MMA welcomed Olympians and Olympic Medalists, it did so to provide the sport some legitimacy.

Say what you want to; having Olympians win and/or lose provides a high level of legitimacy to your event and your sport.  You can use their presence as a measuring rod for the level of difficulty or legitimacy of the sport.

Now for all the dummies who are reading this and saying, “Yeah, but it’s MMA and you get punched in the face.”

Here’s what I have to say to you, “Shut up already!”

You have zero clue what it is like to prepare for the Olympics. What it feels to be in international training camps with high level individuals and what it feels like to be in that four-year grind. It’s horrible.

I recently heard Miesha Tate in an interview question Ronda’s toughness and say that Ronda may respond differently once she’s been “tested”! Then I heard her compare her wrestling background to Ronda’s Judo background.

Three minutes after Miesha said that, I called my attorney to contemplate suing her because when I heard what she said in the interview with Ariel Helwani, I laughed so hard I fell out my chair and nearly hurt myself.

I love Miesha. She’s smart, she speaks well (as an African American I’ve been waiting to use that line on somebody else), and she’s an accomplished MMA fighter, but her Strikeforce belt when compared to Ronda Rousey’s Olympic Medal isn’t even conversationally on par in any discussion and I should slap myself here for writing it in the same sentence.

With that being said, yes, I know Judo is not MMA. We covered that already. What I’m saying is this…… Women’s MMA needs a barometer, a measuring stick of some sort and until, like on the men’s side, an elite level wrestler or a judo player can’t just come in and soley use their honed skill set to win a fight, women’s MMA will fight for legitimacy.

On the men’s side there have been professional boxers, kickboxers, Sambo World Champions, Olympians, Olympic Medalists, Olympic Champions and World Champion Black Belt BJJ players who have won and have lost in MMA competition which has provided enough varying levels of differentiation in terms of style to allow the viewer to say, “Yes, you may have won in XYZ sport, but that doesn’t mean you will win in MMA.”

We can legitimately make that statement on the men’s side.

Right now there are only two women who are mixed martial arts fighters who are also Olympic Medalists, who actually can create this type of legitimacy for the sport, no matter if they win or lose. And only one of them is doing the marketing necessary to really put women’s MMA on the map and that is Ronda Rousey.

Now understand this… Ronda Rousey will steamroll over Miesha Tate. And if that is not the case I will eat my words and I will publicly submit an apology to Miesha Tate.  Miesha has never seen the likes of a woman such as Ronda Rousey.

It’s impossible for her to find somebody with such a judo background. The clinch work against a judo player is 100% different than when fighting or sparring with a wrestler, and if you don’t have anyone to teach you this, you will go down no matter what you think.

I’m sure we all remember when Diego Sanchez thought Karo Parisyan wasn’t going to throw him too.

Look, here are the facts:

  1. Women’s MMA needs Ronda Rousey.
  2. Currently the pool of women in MMA is smaller than that of Judo and Wrestling and the elite women in MMA don’t compare to the elite women in the aforementioned sports at this time (just as during the growth stages of men’s MMA they didn’t compare either). If you don’t believe me, grab the top 25 elite female MMA practitioners and do anaerobic tests, VO2Max tests, strength testing and anthropometric testing (to categorize what a top level elite athlete looks like on average) right now today and the numbers will pale in comparison. And that’s because there is no comparison at this time.
  3. No matter if Ronda wins or loses (and I’m of the opinion that she will win), it will be awesome for women’s MMA. It will provide Miesha Tate and women’s MMA with some legitimacy and validity due to Ronda’s massive competition record and the fact that she could still be doing judo unlike most people who come over the MMA after their Olympic careers or pursuits are over.
  4. The sport can always use another “pretty” face and whether you like it or not, Ronda Rousey is attractive and easy on the eyes.
  5. If women’s MMA cannot command good, sustained “free TV” numbers, there’s no way they are going to get on pay-per-view and that pay-per-view money would be and will be absolutely fantastic for the growth of women’s MMA.

As much as Sarah Kaufman and Miesha Tate don’t want to admit it, Ronda Rousey is actually doing you all a favor. She has no fear, she’s not scared, she’s been through wars that you all could not even imagine and she’s willing to put her legacy (and she does have one in Judo) on the line to help grow the sport while enjoying and making herself some money at the same time.

You should be thankful that Ronda came along because Cyborg sure didn’t do you any favors.

Please like & share: