aNewDomain — Still “Rowdy?” We might have to wait six months or more to see.
As everyone knows by now, “Rowdy” Ronda Rousey, the seemingly unbeatable mixed martial arts star, was defeated by relative unknown Holly Holm last Saturday night in Australia. It was such a shocking turn of events that SportsCenter spent almost an hour showing post-match coverage on a college football night.
The whipping was so severe that Rousey has been suspended for six months because of the injuries she suffered during the main event of UFC 193. She could come back sooner if she is cleared by a head CT scan, but she definitely can’t have contact during training for 45 days.
The suspension probably doesn’t matter much since Rousey was planning to take time off to film a remake of “Road House.” Rousey is reprising the Patrick Swayze bar-bouncer role that included these memorable quotes:
”I want you to be nice until it’s time to not be nice.”
”Take the biggest guy in the world, shatter his knee and he’ll drop like a stone.”
”We’ve got entirely too many troublemakers here. Too many 40-year-old adolescents, felons, power drinkers and trustees of modern chemistry.”
How did “Rain Man” win the 1989 Oscar instead of this cinematic masterpiece?
Rousey, the former unbeaten bantamweight champ, reportedly required plastic surgery after the fight to mend facial damage meted out by Holm’s fists and feet. It was a shocking victory for Holm, who entered the bout as a 20-1 underdog. Several Las Vegas sports books reported losing money on the fight as bettors took a chance on Holm.
When Rousey came back to the U.S. a few days after the fight, her face was covered and she was surrounded by bodyguards and handlers. A humbling return for someone considered to be the toughest woman in the world.
The result was such a shock that nearly a week later, Rousey’s website still advertised her as bantamweight champ. Holm’s camp was much more prepared, offering a T-shirt for sale on the fighter’s website announcing her as the new world champ.
Still, there’s no reason to think Rousey is washed up at age 28. She will need to become more comfortable fighting from a distance, like a boxer. Her style has been to scrap it out more like a wrestler, getting her opponent on the mat for her patented arm bar, the move that helped her come out on top in her first 12 pro fights. None of those bouts lasted more than 4 minutes and 49 seconds. Nine of them were over in less than a minute.
Rousey didn’t just lose her abilities on the marathon flight to Australia. No doubt she will come back strong once her film commitment is wrapped up and her suspension is over.
To her credit, Holm has been complimentary of Rousey over the past week. On Dan Patrick’s radio show Thursday, Holm said: “This is a hard job to be in and a lot of people can’t get in there. When you get in that octagon, it’s one of the loneliest places in the world, because it’s only up to you to do it. A lot of people wouldn’t even have the nerve to be able to get in and just put it all on the line.”
She was quick to add that she would welcome a rematch, which seems natural given the money such a bout would generate. UFC’s CEO said Wednesday that the Pay-Per-View numbers would likely make Saturday night’s card the second best selling offering in the organization’s history. The final tally could reportedly end up in the neighborhood of 1.1 million buys.
Yeah, there will be a rematch.
For now, we have time to wonder if this is Rousey’s Mike Tyson moment. Remember Tyson’s stunning loss to James “Buster” Douglas in Tokyo back in 1990? “Iron Mike” came into the fight unbeaten in 37 matches and Douglas was a journeyman from Ohio with four losses. Douglas was a 42-1 underdog.
No matter. Douglas stunned the boxing world by knocking out the supposedly unbeatable Tyson in the 10th round to claim the most unlikely heavyweight championship in boxing history.
Holm was no Buster Douglas despite being an underdog who overcame huge odds to shock the fight world. Rousey had an air of Tyson invincibility, a queen knocked off her throne in unlikely fashion.
Tyson won his next eight fights before losing back-to-back bouts against Evander Holyfield. Tyson ended his career in 2005 after losing three of his final four fights. He was never the same after Tokyo.
Holm is more of a Holyfield clone. Tough, talented and confident.
Should we go ahead and book this one for UFC 200?
There was one more memorable quote from Swayze’s character in the original “Road House.”
“Nobody ever wins a fight.”
Try telling that to Holly Holm.
Ronda Rousey photo: Courtesy of MMAfighting.com. All rights reserved.
Holly Holm photo: Courtesy of sportingnews.com. All rights reserved.