Ronda Rousey controversy continues with victory

by Kirik Jenness | source: The Underground

Ronda Rousey won her first three amateur fights in a total of 104 seconds, all by armbar. Rousey won her first four pro fights in a total of 138 seconds, all by armbar. And in her successful title bid vs Miesha Tate, Ronda Rousey won, again, by armbar.

The bout was notable in that at 267 seconds it was longer than all of Rousey previous fights combined, pro and amateur. And, as is always the case with "Rowdy" there was controversy.

Did Rousey crank the arm too hard?


Rousey was doing her job. The purpose of a submission, as the name implies, is to get someone to submit. If they don't tap, they will nap or as happened in this case, snap.

It's math.

Miesha Tate showed tremendous heart in trying to escape a second time, even with her arm clearly dislocated, but the burden to avoid injury by tapping was on Tate not Rousey. In a professional fight, Rousey no more has to apply a submission carefully than does a striker have to gently throw a straight right.

Should the ref have stopped it earlier?

Reffing is an extraordinary difficult task.

There are a number of cases where a fighter has suffered a dislocated arm and been able to continue, and even win.

At Strikeforce: Overeem vs. Werdum, Conor Heun had his arm dislocated in the second round by Magno Almeida, and went on to win a decision. This is his arm after the fight he won.

At UFC 137: Penn vs. Diaz, Brandon Vera had his arm dislocated by Eliot Marshall in the third round, and went on to win a decision. This is the armbar.

While missing a tap is deplorable, that did not happen here. In a professional title bout, the referee has to give the fighter every chance to fight.

Miesha was attempting to escape after doing so successfuly once, and the fight was stopped the moment she tapped. Although Tate was not ultimately able to overcome a dislocation and win, or even continue, the referee made a justifiable decision to let the champion continue.

This was not the simple case of terrible reffing that some casual fans have made it out to be.

Was Showtime at fault for replaying the armbar in slow motion?

Until is was eclipsed by ABC's sister effort ESPN, for 37 years the USA weekly enjoyed the sports anthology series ABC's Wide World of Sports. It began with a montage and a voiceover promising "the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat."

Defeat was demonstrated by Slovenian ski jumper Vinko Bogataj missing the ramp and slamming into the crowd.

Bogataj suffered only a mild concussion, and Tate as well will in all likelihood suffer no permanent damage.

The media is going to put forth not the truth, but the most compelling content available. As MMA becomes mainstream, sometimes that is going to be accidents that cast the sport in a poor light. That is the life we live in, and the sport will be fine.

Was Rousey ungracious in victory?

In a previous interview on Sherdog radio Rousey offered her thoughts on injuries from armbars.

"I'm like screw everyone's idea of 'oh what sports are supposed to be like'" said Rousey. "I did what sports were supposed to be like, and I was living in my car. So you know what, fine. I'm gonna talk a bunch of shit. I'm gonna pose in a couple of pictures. And I'm gonna break a couple of girl's arms, and I'm not gonna feel the least bit sorry about it because you know what? At least I can feed my dog."

Post fight Rousey spoke somewhat mockingly about Tate's boyfriend Bryan Caraway's controversial remarks (Rousey had said she could beat him in a fight, and Caraway said if they fought Tate would get her arm broken and her teeth knocked out.)

"(Caraway) and Miesha were up all night tweeting and trying to defend themselves," said an amused Rousey. "And it was all over the front page of, and me and my friend and my mom were just sitting there laughing that they're stressed out and tweeting all night, and we're like, eating trail mix and watching 'The Fifth Element."

"She's a tough chick," Rousey went on to say. "That hurts. I've had my elbow dislocated before, and that's no fun. But the rule is in judo that even if it's dislocated, and they don't tap, you've got to keep going. I don't think the referee should be criticized for not stopping it because those are the rules I'm used to."

Rousey added that she "didn't feel that bad" about the break.

Rousey is a master of more than armbars. She, along with Chael Sonnen, are the Muhammad Alis of MMA, able to use their voice to build fan interest - pro and con - like no other in the sport. For the record, Ali explicitly was inspired in his trash talk by pro wrestler Gorgeous George. Both Sonnen and Rousey draw their attitude from pro wrestling mic work.

One thing clearly separates Sonnen and Rousey however. Sonnen is generally playing a heel character, albeit a role he clearly enjoys. Rousey on the other hand appears to be genuinely speaking her mind, albeit frequently in a teasing fashion.

Most fighters genuinely worry if their opponent is hurt, as caputured in the iconic image of Robbie Lawler helping revive Matt Lindland after knocking him out.

Rousey has not so far shown the same concern.

In this, the media age, professional athletes often guard their remarks. Rousey does not - when she speaks, it is as real as it gets. And that is positive.

So, yes, Rousey was not entirely gracious in winning, but there is a place for that. Not everyone is a role model in all ways all the time.

During the Civil War President Lincoln heard complaints that General Grant drank too much. “Tell me what brand of whiskey that Grant drinks," our greatest Presidnt replied. "I would like to send a barrel of it to my other generals.”

MMA needs more fighters like Ronda Rousey, not less.

As Cesar Gracie put it via Twitter: "Ronda is the honorary Diaz sister. Great fight." Hell, maybe now Nick and Nate are honorary Rousey brothers.

Women's MMA has a new face, and it is going to be in your face, saying whatever she want to, and the world will listen, and the sport is better for it.


The Face of Women's MMA



tags: Strikeforce   Ronda Rousey (detail)  Meisha Tate   video   


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Recent Comments »

sleepybear70 site profile image  

3/8/12 12:42 PM by sleepybear70

Exactly.One thing I like about MMA is the amount of respect you often see between the competitors.Also when I watch the fights with people who are new to it....that's usually the thing that they find surprising and makes them want to watch again

mrantistupiditay site profile image  

3/7/12 1:09 AM by mrantistupiditay

"I've made my point of view crystal clear."I'm too lazy to see which one of you is right, but that's about the corniest, cheeziest sentence, let alone self-validation I've ever read on here.Nobody can take you seriously about anything after you write something that silly.

InYourMomaCloset site profile image  

3/7/12 12:47 AM by InYourMomaCloset

lol - What are you, an authority now? I've made my point of view crystal clear. As I've said, you've yet to make meaningful RELEVANT retort. Explain to me where I stated she WASN'T the future of WMMA, or she's NOT a great fighter. If I didn't make the statement, then it's not back tracking, is it; you brain fart. Further more, as regards your accusation of my sole intent being to win an e-argument? lol Are you brain dead? The only responses you've made to me have been completely irrelevant to the issue at hand or any topic raised in the OP. Who's intent on winning an argument? Your reply: "Oh, look here. How silly - lol. You cannot be serious? That's simply shameful - hahaha". Just go to your local brothel and hand in an application. I understand they're always looking for brain dead bitches that are good for nothing more than laying on their back and taking it up the ass all day with their legs spread wide and raised high. That's clearly your purpose in life, you hoe! 

Jose Aldo Junior Dos Santos site profile image  

3/6/12 7:11 PM by Jose Aldo Junior Dos Santos

If you're gonna say you've reiterated your views enough should probably not reiterate your views yet again. Makes it look like you're more concerned with winning an e-argument than anything.

UGCTT_TrevGore site profile image  

3/6/12 6:43 PM by UGCTT_TrevGore

You should really spend less time worrying about 'disingenuous disparagement,' and maybe spend a little on what the idea is that you're actually trying to put forth."Explain to me exactly where, 'noooo, I didn't mean it tthhatt way,' comes into it?"Your last post literally started exactly like this:"InYourMomaCloset - I'm not saying she's not a great fighter.I'm not saying she's not the future of WMMA."I can't wait for this one... "You're just too stupid too get what I'm saying because you're a stupid loner who's mom I fucked!!"You win, bro.

InYourMomaCloset site profile image  

3/6/12 1:44 PM by InYourMomaCloset

 Bro, you are a nonse. I basically, in my previous post, briefly reiterated exactly what I've said from the start, as a means to a closing argument. Explain to me exactly where, 'Nooo, I didn't mean it tthhaatt way!', comes into it? lol    *this guy....* The only post where you've tried to present what could be remotely considered as a valid counter argument, consisted of you basically bullet pointing a handful of my assertions and then saying, "are you for real here?". You clearly have a flawed idea as regards the mechanics of how an intelligent debate works. The nature of your arguments reminds me of snot nosed Becky from school, whom I used to fight with constantly. Only in her case, I knew she fancied me. In your case, the only logical conclusion to make is that you are, in actual fact, a bitch. You have yet to present one clear assertion backed up with factual evidence or referenced in any way. And yes, I have been incorporating disingenuous disparagement into my replies, as I feel it a reasonably appropriate way to deal with illogical unfounded remarks based on skewed and randomly begot ideas made by bitchful idiots on an internet forum. Thus far, I have referenced and explained in detail the logical and belief behind each and every one of my objective criticisms. You, on the other hand, have come on here and done nothing but make rash and juvenile rubbishing remarks as regards any/every impartial critique that has been made. That to me, lacks conviction and back bone, further reinforcing my belief that you indeed, a bitch. UGCTT_TrevGore - Replies - blah blah blah. Oh look, there's blood in my knickers. Sure thing mate. Use a tampon in future. I understand that's what they're for.      

UGCTT_TrevGore site profile image  

3/6/12 1:07 PM by UGCTT_TrevGore

Lol, so you reply with another 'Nooo, I didn't mean it tthhaatt way!'Everyone has understood what you're trying to say, it's not a tough concept to grasp. What you're not grasping is that the vast majority of people here just DO NOT agree with your sentiment, and definitely not with how you've tried to get it across. You think Rousey has a bad attitude, most of us don't, that doesn't mean you're on some higher level of existence, hahaha. You should just try to forget whatever it is that Ronda did to make you so livid, it's really clouding your judgment.

Chimonos Revenge site profile image  

3/6/12 8:40 AM by Chimonos Revenge

Why does selling a fight always have to resort to being classless? That's the question I have.

fightharder site profile image  

3/6/12 8:34 AM by fightharder

That was a great article. You can hardly disavow Miss Rousey performance but i do think that the point made about Sonnen's trashtalking being a vaudeville act (hence mostly innocent and entertaining) and the way Rousey acts is valid and of some consequence. It seems Rousey is just mean spirited. Perhaps this was needed because she had to make a ''name'' for herself. Now that she is champion she might ''easy'' up and become a little more gracious. But it really surprised me that she could need even muster something sportsmanlike to say about Tate after dominating her and almost ripping her arm of.Since she is from Judo she knows about sportsmanlike behavior and respect for your opponent.This is something you have regardless of the behavior of the other person. But if you adhere to the credo.'' respect is earned not given'', then surely Rousey could have shown Miesha a modicum of it after the fight.I do think she is a great fighter,the future of woman's MMA and comes over generally as cool and laid back in certain interviews. And i personally thought that most of her behavior was Sonnenesque but now i am beginning to have doubts whether she really does have a big behavior issue. And in the end that is pretty bad because since she is the predominant face of MMA she does have a disproportionate influence on how the sports will get perceived by fans (especially younger girls).Last but not least,Rousey interviews with miss hotness from Showtime are kind of indicative of her personality. Before the fight she is mean mugging the hell out of her and afterwards is very cool and relaxed.I hope Rousey stays closer to that second girl then to the first because she really does not need that ugly side shown to the world.

Cann site profile image  

3/6/12 6:34 AM by Cann

No controversy, she beat her legit. The ref could have called it sooner, but she was the champion she should have tapped it was her own fault she didn't sooner now she has to get her arm fixed if possible. I think the ref made the right call; I would rather have this then another Sonnen vs Filho (their first fight), that fight ended with some controversy but Filho had it and Sonnen knows it. Though if the controversy comes from what she said after the fight, then I suppose that could be argued; though not everyone will kiss and makeup after a fight, sometimes the bad blood between two people is true and not faked.