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Ronda Rousey: Too good for her own good?


800px-Ronda_Rousey_retouchThis one goes to 34. That’s how many seconds it took for Ronda Rousey to knock out Bethe Correia at UFC 190.

And actually, it’s newsworthy that it took that long. Correia put on a good show in the leadup to the main event fight, calling Rousey a “fraud,” among other things that were destined to only rile up the baddest woman on the planet, but in the end, this one was not a fair fight even on paper.

Which is going to continue to be a sticking point for Rousey and for UFC, which is operating without a marketable mainstream star among its male fighters in the here and now, meaning it’s up to Rousey to carry the ball for the company in terms of mainstream interest.

And how hard is that going to be as it becomes more and more obvious that there isn’t a woman in the fight game today who can give Rousey any kind of fight?

From a marketability standpoint, Rousey is a hot property for now because there’s still a bit of novelty to a female fighter being as badass as she is. Remember when Mike Tyson was knocking out Michael Spinks in 91 seconds 25 years ago? That’s the last time a fighter caught the imagination of fight and non-fight fans alike the way Rousey is doing now.

Tyson, for myriad reasons, was due a comeuppance, and it came, eventually. It’s hard to foresee Rousey falling into the traps that beset Tyson, who surrounded himself with assorted hangers-on, including the leech Don King.

Rousey will dominate her weight class in UFC until she moves on from the octagon. There’s no doubt about that. But will she do it as a main-eventer?

At some point the public interest in her string of quick knockouts and submissions will fade away. Plunking down $60 for a pay-per-view to watch an endless stream of second-rate undercard matches to see a main event that you know isn’t going to go a minute isn’t something you do too many times before you realize there are better ways to spend your money.

This is not the fault of Rousey or anyone at UFC, obviously. It’s just that, the business model isn’t going to sustain a long string of Rousey squash matches.

– Column by Chris Graham



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