Monday, January 6, 2014

I Been Playing This Tune For Some Time Now

I like Ronda Rousey. 

Secret's out. 

These are from about 6 years ago when she was working her way up to the 2008 Olympics, in which she won bronze. She won Silver in the World's in 2007, and several medals of varying colors at Junior Worlds prior to that. 

She had the distinction of being the youngest judoka in her first (of two) Olympic appearances, at the tender age of 17. 

People who say she is a bad person know about 10 weeks of her life. People who think she didn't earn a shot at Strikeforce know less than 10 months of her life. 

People who have actually studied Judo and BJJ for more than 5 years seem to mostly know her history and respect her abilities. Those with higher level athletic experience have a much more realistic interpretation of what others view as her 'personality'. 

If you think that Rousey lacks 'class' and is 'too confident/cocky' I think you should make sure you just don't think women should be strong or assertive first before you make a specific claim about one whose shoes you have not (and sorry, but could not have) walked in.

The reality is that she competed at the highest level of women's fight sport: Olympic Judo. In 2004, there's wasn't anything with more women from more countries competing harder. Wrestling and boxing are close, but not as big as Judo (FOR WOMEN). There are countries like Russia, France and Japan that can field 6 women, any of whom could slam you on your head, crush you to death just long enough for you to beg them to armbar you, and Ronda beat most if not all of them pretty handily. Strikeforce in 2012 had like 10 women, many of whom took up MMA as a hobby in adulthood. Ronda's fiercest competitor to date has been Miesha Tate, who's greatest accomplishment seems to be to have prolonged her beating for about 11 minutes longer than anyone else has. Ronda will be on top for a while, because no other woman in MMA has gone through the crucible that she has to arrive here.

For those of you who think she's a bad role model, just think of this: Your daughter may one day grow up, and she may want to pick a career path, and you may likely NOT wish that it were MMA. However, she could have a viable career in MMA, making a comfortable living. She can thank Ronda for that. Before Ronda, all the nice girls of Strikeforce were going to wait nicely until they were blue in the face, or more realistically 35 years old and out to pasture, before they ever (IF) got a shot in the UFC. Less than a year before Dana gave Ronda a belt, he stated publicly that UFC/Zuffa wasn't interested nor was the viewing public.