Saying shocking things is one way of getting attention. It’s a method that has been used to a great extent lately by one of the UFC’s rising stars and a pioneer of women’s MMA, Ronda Rousey.

Women’s MMA has suffered from a lack of attention from the mainstream up until recently, but Rousey, the former Strikeforce champion who became the first female fighter ever to sign with the UFC, has done a lot to drag the spotlight onto the women. But the attention she is receiving may not be of the variety that the UFC or proponents of women’s MMA had hoped would come with her arrival on the sport’s biggest stage.

Rousey has been a dominant champion, overwhelming every fighter who dares step in the cage with her. Six fights, six armbars and six first-round wins. Domination at it’s finest.

But lately it seems as if the attention has shifted from her dominating skills to what she has to say on a variety of topics. With the UFC belt comes major attention and everything gets magnified. When you’re the highest-profile female champion in a sport where women don’t get nearly the recognition they deserve and you make the news, it shouldn’t be for something like a Sandy Hook conspiracy video.

It is great to question things in a world where everything is scripted nowadays (even reality television isn’t truly “reality”) and where hardly anything is as it seems. However, a line still must be drawn. To post something as potentially offensive as the Sandy Hook video was clearly lacking in thought and respect for those involved.

But Rousey’s edginess doesn’t end there. There’s also the frank sex talk on Jim Rome’s show and the fact that she makes statements such as, “If GSP wasn’t really good-looking, and really Canadian, he would be really unknown.

Um, what?

Rousey should know a little thing or two about the whole “looks make you known” ideal. After all, there is a portion of the WMMA fan base that prefers women who will sell themselves with sex appeal. Gina Carano is a great example, and it earned her a title shot against Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos. And it certainly has something to do with why Rousey is where she is today.

These statements, though, are received negatively by fans and non-fans alike, and a champion in the UFC should know better than to say these things just for the shock effect. It could be said that there is no such thing as bad press, and Rousey does a great job of selling herself to the general public. But to say some of the things she has said casts a negative light on her and the sport as a whole.

A fighter like Rousey she should let her skills speak louder than words, rather than playing the crazy shock factor card in her tweets and during interviews. If the sport of WMMA is to move forward and progress with the times, we need more fighters who shock the world with great submissions and jaw-dropping knockouts, and less of fighters who spew nonsense and earn their shots by running their mouths.

At this point, it feels like Rousey is just saying whatever comes to mind, however outrageous, just to make people look at her. What she doesn’t know is that she already had everybody’s attention and didn’t need to push herself in that direction. Rousey was at a point where her skills were respected and could offset everything else, including her trash-talking and “I do what I want” persona. But now it seems like things have been reversed. It’s no longer about what she does in the cage, but what she says outside of it.

Rousey will be under a bigger microscope now. And with the way things are going, she could turn a lot of fans off or even offend them, as she likely did in the case of the Sandy Hook video. That alone could be disastrous to her career, and to the future of women’s MMA in the UFC.

Photo: Ronda Rousey (James Law/Heavy MMA)

About The Author

Sal DeRose
Staff Writer

Sal hails from New Jersey and is currently training for his first MMA fight. He hopes to use his knowledge and insight to generate articles that interest and entertain you. Outside of MMA, Sal is a big fan of every other sport. He's a diehard New York sports fan, with the exception of cheering for the Packers.