What’s The Point Of Debating Ronda Rousey’s Ability To Defeat Male Fighters?

Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea for USA TODAY Sports

Following her jaw-dropping 14-second submission of Cat Zingano in the main event of last Saturday night’s (Feb. 28, 2015) UFC 184 pay-per-view (PPV) from Los Angeles, talk has shifted not to whom would actually challenge Rousey in women’s MMA, but whether or not she could actually hang with or defeat male bantamweight fighters in the UFC.

Octagon announcer Joe Rogan said he believes that Rousey could take out up to 50 percent of the male bantamweights in the UFC, a statement that has generated a massive amount of controversy in the MMA world.

It may not be a relevant question given that the odds are overwhelmingly likely that we’ll never get even close to seeing her face men in the UFC, but we’re still going to have to put up with the back-and-forth discussions about it for now.

Flyweight Ian McCall is on the other side of the fence from Rogan, speaking up to Rick C. Lee yesterday to give his take that Rousey absolutely could not take out male fighters in the UFC:

“You see all these comparisons to her fighting men. Even like Joe (Rogan); I need to have a conversation with Joe about it, because she’s not beating up a man. I’m sorry; it’s not going to happen. Like, I come from wrestling, and before there was a big female scene in wrestling, they would wrestle men, and, it’s not going to happen. A good man will not lose to Ronda Rousey.

“I can put a judo gi on; you’re an Olympian, you’re not throwing me. It’s not going to happen. I will throw you on your head pretty simple. And you weigh more than me. I can’t compartmentalize or whatever, it doesn’t make sense to me. I know it’s all talk, compare her to Tyson. She’s dangerous, she’s good, I get it; but it’s just silly. I could rant about it for awhile, but I’m not going to.”

While Rousey may be thrown in the pound-for-pound discussion given her overall reign of dominance, McCall believes that being the best female fighter and being the best fighter overall are two completely different things:

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“Ronda’s definitely not the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world,” McCall said. “She’s the best woman on the planet. That’s cute. Cool. Well, we’re doing men things. Different. I get it, you’re really good and all, but to compare her to Jon (Jones) or Jose (Aldo) or Demetrious (Johnson) or Cain (Velasquez) … come on, any of the champions. It’s a different world. I don’t know. It just frustrates me.”

Decorated Brazilian Jiu-jitsu trainer Rener Gracie offered another take on the subject during an appearance on The MMA Hour, however. He’s trained extensively with Rousey and has a strong sense of her true overall skills; skills that he believes makes it almost impossible for any female fighter to contend with her, including the woman who most give the best chance, Invicta FC featherweight champ Cristiane ‘Cyborg’ Justino:

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“People say rolling with Cris ‘Cyborg’ is like rolling with a man, you don’t have to go easy, you’re rolling very hard. And I’ve rolled with a lot of world-class men, martial arts, jiu-jitsu, MMA, and I know what they feel like. Ronda doesn’t feel like them.

“That’s the whole point,” Gracie continued. “She’s beyond. I don’t say rolling with Ronda is like rolling with a man. I’ve never said those words and I never will. Rolling with Ronda is like rolling with an alien.”

According to Gracie, Rousey would indeed have a good chance to defeat some male bantamweights inside the Octagon:

“There’s no doubt that she can put it on some men, for sure,” Gracie said. “I’ve seen it happen, and really do some damage.

“Here’s the thing, naturally, what everyone is going to say is ‘no’ — that men have the physical strength, the power advantage over someone like Ronda, or any female, you would say. And that’s generally a fair statement, I think. But the thing is this: Ronda has some things that I’ve never felt in even men, if that makes sense.”

It’s obvious that there are some extremely dissenting opinions on the topic, and in truth, it may be a fruitless argument when it’s all said and done. We aren’t going to witness Rousey facing off with male bantamweights, so a bout with ‘Cyborg’ is probably the closest and most heated showdown we could hope for in women’s MMA.

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‘Rowdy’ may be able to take on some of the male fighters in the UFC at her weight class, she may not be able to take on some, but it just doesn’t matter that much. She’s the best in the world in her own weight class, and that’s why weight classes were instituted in the first place.

It simply isn’t her fault that her competition is literally light years away from her talent level. She’ll remain there until they hone their skills, bring a smart gameplan to the cage, and get over the ominous air of intimidation that she brings to the Octagon each and every time out.

Do you think that Rousey can defeat male bantamweights, or do you not care about an argument that we’ll never seen proven?


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