When Ronda Rousey was in her prime, there wasn’t any doubting that she was the star that the UFC desperately needed to gain traction on the global scene. She was unstoppable between 2012 and 2015, with only fighter able to go outside of the second round with her. But, when you consider legacies, you often look back at sporting icons and talk about their dominance in their field.
For instance, you look at Floyd Mayweather JR was able to go throughout his career unbeaten, while nobody could get close to Michael Jordan during his heyday in the NBA. When it comes to Rousey, she isn’t remembered for her dominance anymore, and that has raised questions about what her legacy with the UFC actually was.
Hall of Fame Induction
Rousey was inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame back in 2018, and there is no doubting that she is deserving of her spot. Dana White was previously against the idea of having any women fight in his company before Rousey showcased precisely what women were actually capable of doing once they had the spotlight. White’s acceptance of Rousey allowed her to become the biggest star in the company, and take women’s sport to a completely new stratosphere. Of course, her beauty has helped her take steps into new paths nowadays, but it was her ability in the octagon that initially got the world talking.
At the height of her powers, she had already beaten her opponents before they stepped foot into the octagon. She would head into these bouts as the favourite in the MMA and UFC betting online markets. However, unfortunately, the successes that she achieved during that unparalleled three-year period are now not what people remember from Rousey. People forget how dominant she was during that period, and instead focus on the two brutal defeats that she had to end her UFC career.
The effect that she had in making women’s MMA main event worthy shouldn’t be forgotten, and that was her legacy. Without Rousey, there may not have even been women competing in UFC. She has been the catalyst for change on that front, but that was also her undoing.
Rousey’s status attracted better fighters into the UFC, and they included Holly Holm and Amanda Nunes. Those two women were the final ones to face off against Rousey. Holm broke her spirit before she was eventually wheeled out for one final fight against Nunes, where Rousey never looked like winning. Her aura as a champion was long gone by that point, and there wasn’t any question that was going to be her final fight.
Of course, it’s very rare to leave a combat sport with an undefeated record, and most icons bow out with a sad end. Rousey’s end was sad, and the dominance that she enjoyed is never remembered. Nobody can punish Rousey for her decision to walk away because what she achieved in making women’s combat sport as popular as it is should be applauded. She may never be mentioned among the greatest of all time, but what she achieved during her run with UFC isn’t in question.