I thought I’d do a series about my female influences, inspirations, and people that I genuinely admire. They’re not all going to be fighters, but this being the nature of the blog, a lot of them probably will be.
So why Ronda? I hear you yell… she’s not even world champion anymore. Well, it’s true, things have been rather quiet on the Rowdy front lately, with rumoured fights popping up left, right and centre, but none of them actually coming to fruition. It seems likely that we’re set for Rousey vs. Tate mk. III if Tate manages to hold onto her belt against Amanda Nunes at UFC 200.
Anyway, I digress, why Ronda? Well Ronda was the first for me. She was the first woman fighter who I saw being a total badass, winning titles and opening up the world of women’s combat sports. For some it was Gina Carano, but I was generation post-Gina, so for me it was definitely Rousey. I watched with glee as she dispatched opponent after opponent in the bantamweight division in under a minute each time with her strong judo acumen and a well placed armbar. Tate was the only one who seemed to be able to get out of the first round. Many people thought she was untouchable, because no-one could get close enough to deliver any damage without being thrown on their head. Yet, we all know how this story goes, Holly Holm figured out how to deliver damage without getting anywhere near her, leaving the Judo champ perplexed as to how to get hold of her opponent and play her game. When forced to play Holm’s game of dodge and distance, she was totally out of moves.
Regardless of that, you can’t deny that Ronda Rousey did an awful lot for women’s MMA. She made me aware that there even was women’s MMA and from there the journey has been continuous. Okay, so I’ve left MMA behind for now, but Rousey still remains up there as one of my influences on how it all started. I think the sport owes her a lot for raising it’s profile so immensely. Of course, not everyone agrees with how she did it, and she’s made some fairly controversial statements along the way. There are others as well: Miesha Tate, Cat Zingano, Joanna Champion, Michelle Waterson, Chris Cyborg, Holly Holm, etc. etc. And those are just the MMAers.
Next week, I’ll go back to BJJ with one of my faves… Mackenzie Dern.