With Ronda Rousey missing from the face of the Earth since her loss to Holly Holm last month, it’s been UFC president Dana White’s job to speak in her place and promote whatever angles work best for the fight organization in the long run. With that in mind, it shouldn’t be surprising that he’s trying to minimize the perceived effect losing has had on Rousey’s reputation and popularity.
Here he is on ESPN’s First Take saying Rondamania is bigger than ever (via MMA Fighting):
“It’s crazy, because you win and lose in the fight game,” White said. “It happens. It’s funny because we were comparing her to Tyson, who had this invincibility. She was a Tyson. It was never more true than when she lost. Because when she lost, everybody was shocked. A hundred million people were talking about it on social media. And I actually think that Ronda Rousey is bigger now after the loss than she was before the fight. And there’s gonna be a rematch.”
Ronda awareness is definitely at its height, there’s no doubt about that. But is it at its peak? We’ll have to wait and see whether the general public and media still care about Rousey now that she’s lost. You could argue that a significant amount of Manny Pacquiao fever disappeared the night he lost to Timothy Bradley in 2012, and that was over nothing more than a bogus judge’s decision. Ronda Rousey got brutally knocked out in front of the world. That’s going to affect your market value on certain levels.
The fans who love her and the fans who love to hate her (a growing club) will stick around, and I’m sure the UFC will be very effective at creating a massive media circus around the rematch. But big time movie producers are probably going to hold off on offering her any more Road House reboots til after that fight. It’s a slippery thing trying to put into words why a second loss to Holly Holm would hurt Rousey’s Hollywood ambitions so much. But it would. She’ll still be charismatic and she’ll still be popular, but she’ll no longer be the absolute best in the world, and that takes you down a notch or 12 in many eyes.
As a fight fan, it’s not the worst thing in the world. The less plum movie roles she’s offered, the longer she may stick around in the UFC fighting. I’m looking forward to seeing how Ronda Rousey fills out Patrick Swayze’s jeans as much as the next person, but it’s her performances in the cage that really interest me in the end.
(Via MMA Fighting)