UFC women’s champion Ronda Rousey destroyed her opponent Alexis Davis in a mere 16 seconds to defend her bantam weight title for the fourth consecutive time. What makes this even more incredible is that this was Rousey’s third fight in six months.
Rousey was asked to fight on short notice after the headline fighters were cancelled. She has already done this on several occasions; virtually saving the UFC with her star power and willingness to fight at the last moment.
For Joe Rogan, then, to ask Rousey about fighting in the upcoming UFC 176 is the worst form of usury. Rogan, of all people, must know that a 16 second fight takes just as much preparation as a full five-rounder. So to ask her about fighting again on August 2 is virtually disrespectful.
Rousey defeats Davis in 16 seconds. Photo: larrybrownsports.com
And by all accounts the wear and tear is adding up. Rousey admitted that a cyst beneath her right knuckle was ripped open from the overhand that sent Davis reeling and signalled the beginning of the end for the plucky opponent. Rousey didn’t want Davis to recover and so kept up a flurry of blows with no regard to her damaged hand. After the fight she required 9 stitches to close the tear.
On top of this Rousey said in a post-fight interview that she will be undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery in the coming days. She expects this to keep her out for four weeks.
But the UFC appears to be more concerned with using Rousey for a quick buck rather than nurturing her for the long haul.
It would be in everyone’s interests for the UFC to give a year off. First, the great champion herself would get some much needed (and deserved) time for rest and recuperation. Second, it would give the women’s welterweight division time to produce a worthy opponent.
While Rousey’s opponents thus far have all been skilful, highly trained athletes, none of them have even come close to pushing the champion. Rousey’s judo and devastating arm bar have proved the difference on many occasions. But even without these weapons of mass destruction Rousey appears untouchable. She out-muscles, out-scores and out-lasts every contender even without her signature skills.
MMA fans adore Rousey’s dominance in the ring. The UFC adore Rousey’s willingness to save their hide when a main card falls through. Female fighters adore Rousey for legitimising and cementing a respected place for women in combat sports. Why then is Rousey being used by the UFC with such wanton disregard for her well-being?
Rousey is one of the top three drawcards in the UFC stable. Having her fight too often will only shorten her career. And with her third feature length movie in pre-production it seems obvious the UFC will miss Rousey more than Rousey will miss the UFC.