Iole: Rousey brand intact after TUF

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Days before TUF 18 debuted on FOX Sports 1, Ronda Rousey conducted an interview with MMAJunkie, in which she expressed concerns that she did not come across well in the reality television series.

“I think it was very good for the women’s division, and I think it definitely needed to happen,” said Rousey. “But you couldn’t pay me $10 million to do it again.”

“How could people possibly know who you are from a couple of clips of a video that people are seeing out of context? That’s no way for people to get to know you, so I’m just preparing for people to get the worst idea of who I am.”

Now the The Ultimate Fighter 18 is one night from over, and the season did indeed cast Rousey in a dim light on numerous occasions. However, Yahoo Sports’ Kevin Iole argues that her brand is undiminished.

None of it detracts from her primary gig as the UFC women’s bantamweight champion. Her job is not only to fight and retain her title, but also to sell tickets and pay-per-views.

After just one fight in the UFC, a victory in February over Liz Carmouche, Rousey is already one of the sport’s biggest stars, male or female. It’s fair to say that only welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre clearly exceeds her as a draw. Some might argue that light heavyweight champion Jon Jones and/or middleweight champion Anderson Silva may exceed her in terms of star power.

That may be true, but it’s by no means a slam dunk, and Rousey is a fighter on the rise. Fans clearly want to see her fight and nothing that happened during Season 18 figures to impact that.

She may not have come across as America’s sweetheart, but anyone who expected her to be that didn’t really know her in the first place. Rousey is an attractive woman with a quick wit and a gift for verbal warfare, and those talents along with her dominant fighting style have contributed to her popularity.

Her stint as a coach may not have portrayed her the way she might have wanted, but it certainly did nothing to hurt her as a drawing card.

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So what do you think UG? How did TUF 18 impact your impression of Ronda Rousey? Are you going to watch her fight Miesha Tate at UFC 168 on December 28? Don’t lie 😉