Friday Night was likely the last time that anyone will ever see Ronda Rousey fight within the Octagon. Her career is over. As meteoric as her rise to MMA superstardom was, Rousey’s fall has been even swifter. In just 48 seconds in Las Vegas, Amanda Nunes destroyed Rousey and her career with a few well-thrown punches. It was the end of an era for UFC. Rowdy single-handedly made women relevant in the UFC.
Before she came along, women in the UFC were paid scant attention. Rousey made her fights must-see events. When she fought, fans knew that the other fighter would be getting destroyed by Rousey within a few minutes. Rowdy was like a force of nature inside the Octagon, terrifying her opponents and thrilling fans. She steamrolled through her competition, and it seemed that no woman could possibly withstand her until she met Holly Holm.
Holm was the first to make Rousey seem mortal by defeating her in shocking fashion at UFC 193. Holm made Rousey look foolish throughout that fight, beating her bloody and apparently shattering whatever force made Ronda Rousey the dynamo she once was. After the loss to Holm, Rousey took more than a year off.
Rowdy Is No More
Never again will Rousey terrorize an opponent in the Octagon. Before she fought Holm, she was much likely Mike Tyson was in the early years of his career. Before opponents even got in the ring against Iron Mike, they were already defeated because they thought he was going to murder them. He tore through opponents like they were paper, and that is exactly the way that Rousey’s UFC career began.
Rousey would walk through her opponents like they were no threat at all. Now that she will never be able to do that again, it is likely that Rousey’s career is over. When she lost to Holm, one of the biggest upsets in the sport’s history, it was easy to think that she just panicked after getting hit for the first time in the Octagon.
However, the panic that Rousey displayed against Holm was knighting compared to how badly she panicked against Nunes. Nunes landed one good shot on Rousey eight seconds into the fight, and you saw that Rousey instantly went into panic mode again. She rushed forward like a frightened animal, and it was easy to see that the ferocious force that once fueled Rousey has been spent.
Now that she is unable to bully fighters, Rousey will never again be able to defeat them psychologically before the fight even begins. Instead, it seems like it is Rousey who is now the fighter who has given up before the fight commences. She refused to do promotions before the fight, she panicked during the fight and she stormed out of the Octagon after the fight.
Rousey is finished. Even if she had won, she may have retired anyway. After suffering back-to-back brutal knockouts, it is hard to believe that Rowdy will ever again delight fans with her signature armbar. Every female fighter in the UFC’s future owes her a debt for bringing women in the promotion into the spotlight, but Rousey’s time appears to be over.