I find it fascinating that Ronda Rousey’s rise to fame parallels a time where domestic violence and abuse towards women is such a hot topic on everyones mind. It could be coincidence and more than like it is, but either way it is still very important fro women all over. The months leading up to Rousey’s last fight women were being seen as victims and rightfully so. I in no way want to down play the significance of domestic violence. Its a very serious issue. However, I don’t think seeing sports starts on commercials choking up in front of a camera made many women feel safer or more empowered.
Enter, Ronda Rousey. Rouser’s fight with Cat Zinging was already super hyped. Mousey is no new start to the UFC. She’s proven her toughness, she’s defended her title, she’s gained her reputation as a bad ass. This made any of the fight possibilities exciting regardless of who it was going to be. Then it turned out to be Cat Zinging, who was know for being an animal of a fighter. That combined with her size and strength(size and strength that dominated once title contender, and rival of Rousey, Misha Tate) made is seem like if there was anyone out there that could beat her it was to be Zingano.
Well, if you’re reading this you probably know what happened. Mousey was able to arm bar Zinging in 14 seconds. UFC commentator, Joe rogan, posted in on instagram saying this is the only UFC fight in history that ronda-rousey-the-expendables-3-premiere-in-hollywood_5can be seen front to back in the 15 seconds of video allowed to you by the app. This turned everything upside down!! What this meant was that now in the UFC and MMA, a sport dominated by men, had to accept that one the most dominant and greatest champions the sport has ever seen and maybe ever will see is a woman!! And a beautiful woman at that! She breaks all of the molds that existed for women that fight.
Finally after 2014, the year of domestic violence, women and young girls had a tough warrior of a role model. She’s not the normal dainty image of a woman that is so often objectified by our society. She’s strong, brave, not one to back down. It was great to see the excitement that women suddenly had for the sport. Not that there weren’t women fans before, but now that one of the greatest ever is a woman its drawing in even more interest from women. It also seems to have silenced that last wave of doubters and haters of women MMA. We all see that these are warriors now, and Rousey just happens to be the baddest of them all.
Now lets dig a little further and think about what this means for the future of women MMA and martial arts. We first have to look at why Rousey is so dominant. Her mother is an olympian in Judo. She has been doing Judo and grappling her whole life. We’re only just now seeing male athletes that trained for their whole lives to fight in the cage. Before, it was a lot of ex-wrestlers, football players, or just strong guys with tough hands. Those people get torn up by the technique driven savages that trained MMA their whole lives.ShamrockvsLesnar_crop_north Its not the muscle bound monsters of Pride Fighting. Theses are lean finesses fighting machines that have been taught this sport by champions since before they knew how to work a capri sun pouch. Thats what Rousey is in the women division. Sure some of them may have trained young, but doubtfully by an olympian since birth. But now, with the rise in popularity of both MMA and women in MMA the opportunity to train is easier to come by for those women.
What I hope this does is spike the amount of women learning martial arts. The false pretense that combat sports are just for guys is fading away quickly and I think Rousey showed why. Its exciting to watch! Also if you’re a girl and you want to be a famous athlete guess what? The women on the UFC probably get more exposure than any other women sport besides maybe tennis. The future of women MMA looks brighter than ever. While its champion, Rousey, waits patiently for someone new to come along and challenge her for her title there is a young girl sitting at lunch room table shaking a protein shaker, drowning out her friends, daydreaming about hip tosses and triangle chokes, and wearing that women bantamweight belt across her waist with her hand lifted towards the rafters.