The UFC’s first female champion, Ronda Rousey successfully defended her title against Miesha Tate and moved to 8-0 in the process. Until last night, all of Rousey’s fights had ended in the first round by arm bar. The end result was the same (arm bar once again) but took place in the third round of UFC 168 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Those who follow Women’s Mixed Martial Arts (WMMA) along with the Vegas odds-makers knew a snowball in hell had a better chance of surviving than Tate did in this fight. UFC president Dana White reminded the media and fans that Tate was a “fighting dog” and she did manage to do what no one else had done, taking Ronda into a round outside of the first, but Rousey’s simply a superior fighter. Ronda suffered very little damage in the fight, so little in fact that at the post-fight press conference her next fight was announced. Ronda will square off against fellow Olympic medalist Sara McMann, a fight many fans thought should have been the first one made in the octagon.
There seems to be more chatter online and in the post-fight interviews about Ronda not shaking Miesha’s hand than the fight itself. After Miesha tapped out and the referee called off the fight, she stuck her hand out but Ronda walked away. The MGM Grand erupted in boos and twitter lit up. It’s no secret to those who watched The Ultimate Fighter and followed the pre-fight hype that the two don’t care for one another. So why would this come as a shock?
Some fans were brutal with their comments and surprisingly most of them are women. Calling Rousey “classless”, an “asshat”, “poor sport”, “not a champ”, “disgusting” and more. One of the most dramatic female comments reads, “I used to like her and now wouldn’t bother to piss on her if she were burning.”
Really? Come on people.
I’m sorry but I don’t see it as a class-less move, instead I have MORE respect for Rousey by NOT shaking her hand. Sure… Ronda came across as a bit of a loose cannon at times when she was coaching on The Ultimate Fighter. Miesha was shown as the good girl in a positive light. It’s the classic good versus evil. Do I think it was a great move by the UFC to show the champion as a bit of nut? Not so much. The show helped facilitate and manufacture the “rivalry” when diehard WMMA fans knew when the octagon door shut it would be all Rousey.
How many times do we see this monster build up where two opponents are shown hating each other and talk more trash than imaginable? Often. Why? It gets people excited, it creates buzz and interest. Then when the fight is over more often than not we hear them say it was just hype and they hug it out. That’s great and all but it’s the UFC and not the WWE. I’d rather see two people keep it real at the end of a fight and not pretend like they are besties. I’ve seen it countless times in bodybuilding, figure, fitness and bikini competitions where the competitors hug, smile and shake hands only to talk shit as soon as the other person leaves. Oh but that’s being a good sport and showing class right? Not so much. It’s amusing and baffling all at once that a handshake, or lack there of, can cause such controversy.
Rest assured, Rousey knows what she is doing. You may not like the gesture after the fight but you’re talking about her and taking a side. She forces you to have an opinion… for, against or simply don’t care. The buzz keeps her relevant and as long as she continues to win people will tune in. How much will people be talking about Miesha after this fight? She’s lost twice, by the same move, to Ronda so likely not much.
The crazy thing is how no one is talking about her male counterpart being a poor sport or lacking class in an earlier fight. Chris Leben, a veteran of the UFC and fighting on the same card, was knocked silly at the end of his first round. He threw in the towel and left the octagon before the official announcement was made. Many on twitter were applauding him for “knowing it was the right move to hang it up.” How is it that he’s not the one people are blasting for being a poor sport? Oh ya, he lost and he’s on his way out. He’s not the champion and apparently people could care less.
Rousey explained herself and why she didn’t shake her hand in the post fight interviews and at the press conference. She gave Miesha her props as a fighter and said she respected what she had done but until she apologized for what she said to her coaching staff/family; she wouldn’t think about shaking her hand.
Love the move or not she’s speaking her mind and not blowing smoke up your ass. She’s being herself and if that makes her an “ass hat” then sign me up cause I’ll buy one. That’s my take. What’s yours? Join the conversation on Facebook or on twitter #noShakeGate and share your thoughts on the topic.
photo via mmaweekly.com