Ronda Rousey has experienced a sudden fall from grace over the last 14 months. The once-dominant UFC women’s bantamweight champion has lost her last two bouts by knockout and her fighting future is currently unclear.
After being on the wrong end of a brutal Holly Holm head kick at Nov. 2015’s UFC 193, Rousey spent the majority of 2016 on the sidelines. With the belt no longer wrapped around her waist, the “Rowdy” one faded out of the limelight, but she made her long-awaited return at last Friday’s (Dec. 30, 2016) UFC 207 from Las Vegas. Unfortunately for Rousey, this loss was far more harrowing than the last, as she was finished by Amanda Nunes in just 48 seconds.
Due to her current losing streak and the fact that she has remained relatively quiet in the media – something unusual for a star of her stature – Rousey has received a tremendous amount of criticism. While some of that criticism may be warranted, it seems fight fans are suddenly downplaying Rousey’s previous accomplishments.
Perhaps fans are forgetting that the former Olympian has held titles in two different promotions? Perhaps fans are forgetting that we’re speaking of the female who brought women’s MMA to the UFC, and therefore the mainstream? Perhaps fans have forgotten that Rousey will always be known as the inaugural UFC 135-pound champion and that she defended her title six consecutive times?
With that being said, let’s flip the script, stop trashing Rousey for a moment and take a look at ‘Rowdy’s’ five best fighting moments:
Miesha Tate vs. Ronda Rousey:
Ronda Rousey made her bantamweight debut in a title fight against fellow pioneer and then Strikeforce women’s bantamweight champion Miesha “Cupcake” Tate at Strikeforce: Tate vs. Rousey on March 3, 2012.
After scoring four straight first round armbar victories, Rousey was put in the headlining role against her bitter rival with a title on the line. To say that she made the most of the opportunity would be an understatement, as she ended up scoring yet another first round armbar victory over Tate to secure the title. In fact, Rousey even snapped Tate’s arm in gruesome fashion, which just added an exclamation point to the victory.
Establishing herself as a legitimate star and a legitimate force in this fight, Rousey would go on to defend her Strikeforce strap one time before making the jump to the UFC.