Boxing legend George Foreman said years ago, “If you fight good fighters often enough, you will eventually lose.” Former UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion Ronda Rousey can attest to that statement after her knockout loss to Holly Holm on Saturday night.
Rousey’s loss, while not personally good for her, may be a good a thing for women and sports in general. No, this is not the point where I join the legion of Internet trolls celebrating Rousey’s defeat.
Holly Holm obviously trained hard and came ready to fight. She put on a great performance against a seemingly invincible opponent. She deserved to win the way she did. I’ll leave it at that.
The “good” I’m talking about hopefully comes in the form of the brakes being put on the Rousey hype machine. Her talk show appearances, movie roles and commercials are fine, but the real hype machine is the one which had Rousey one day fighting a man.
The social media back-and-forth between Rousey and boxing champion Floyd Mayweather has been silly. Many commentators have wondered aloud how Rousey would do against the undefeated pugilist.
If nothing else, Holly Holm proved Rousey will get all she wants from female competitors and should concentrate on them. Sports is still one of the last bastions of a knuckle-dragging culture which thinks the only way for a woman to be great is to act like and ultimately defeat a man.
Just as we try to do in this space with sportsmanship, it will take a change in perspective for us to view women’s sports and men’s sports as great on their own merits. There’s no need to always compare one to the other.
Hopefully, Ronda Rousey understands that now. Because you can bet the farm Holly Holm does.