I wrote a little about women’s MMA a few years ago. Since then I’ve been loosely following the women’s divisions in Strikeforce. Other than that I’ve watched Invicta once, I think.
The first time I saw Ronda Rousey fight in MMA was when she captured the Strikeforce title, no wait, it was her first title defence (I had missed some shows). I was really impressed with her crisp technique. For those who don’t know her, she comes from a Judo background where she got the bronze medal at the Olympics back in ‘08. She was undefeated in MMA before her UFC title defence and had won all her fights via first round armbar submission. Even when her opponents knew what was coming, they didn’t stand a chance. Those were fights that I showed my buddies youtube clips of (viewer discretion advised, though).
Another thing I like about Ronda is that despite being very outspoken leading up to the fights, when it’s time to fight she’s ultra focused. I think it was her title defence in Strikeforce where this announcer was trying to interview her before the fight and she was completely stone faced and hardly answered the questions. When fighters like Micheal Bisping are looking for cheers from the audience when they walk into the ring, Ronda looks like she has tunnel vision.
When the UFC acquired Strikeforce I was afraid that it would be the end of (or at least a setback for) women’s pro MMA, since the president of the UFC had earlier expressed that he had no interest whatsoever to bring women into the UFC. Luckily, Ronda’s star quality changed that and she was announced as the UFC bantamweight champion (since she was the reigning Strikeforce champ). It was also announced that her first title defence against Liz Carmouche would be the main event of UFC 157. Quite a move up from Strikeforce, where the women’s division was shown on the challenger series and not the main shows.
That fight was last Saturday (Sunday in this time zone). I had some friends over to watch it with me (for the first time actually). I was really hoping that the title fight was going to be good. Both for the sake of women’s MMA in the UFC and because I was hoping my friends would see MMA from its best side. I was rooting for Ronda, but mostly I wanted an exciting fight. Liz had been smashing her opponents leading up to this fight, so I had high hopes.
The other fights on the card were good too, but the title fight took the cake. I was at the edge of my seat for the whole fight. Both Liz and Ronda put on a great show!
The only thing I thought was a bit unnecessary was how revealing Ronda’s top was. I was worried she’d flash the viewers. She’s very beautiful and aesthetically it looks good, but that’s kind of an unnecessary thing for her to have to worry about during the fight.
I watched a few of programs covering the fighters before the fight — their back story, how they train and so on. I found them very interesting, but also inspiring. I’ve watched these type of programs about other fighters before, but I got really inspired by the shows about Liz and Ronda for some reason. I can bring out some mental imagery from those programs while working out to help motivate me.