It is basically inevitable for an athlete to lose at a certain point in their career. It can happen to anyone in any sport. It doesn’t matter if it is an individual athlete or a team. In fact, we all fail at a particular moment, and it hurts badly; it is part of being human. However, when you are the best of the best, that heartbreaking moment is devastating.
Sports history is packed with major disappointments and upsets. Just recently, Brazil’s national soccer team was called to show their best performance in over 60 years, at the 2014 FIFA World Cup that took place precisely in the South American country. Nonetheless, Germany destroyed Brazil in a historical 7-1, at the semi-finals.
Now, if you ask me, no other sport provides the worst upsets than MMA. I’ve seen it happen since I was a kid and became a fan of the sport. All the greatest legends and martial arts heroes have been defeated in the most dramatic ways, and the greater they were, the harder they fell.
Just to mention a few that pop into my head immediately are: Mark Coleman knocked out by Maurice Smith, Frankie Edgar humiliating BJ Penn, Keith Jardine’s devastating knockout over Chuck Liddell, or more recently Anderson Silva, landing out cold on the mat, in hands of Chris Weidman.
Through all these years, not only being a fan, but also a student of martial arts myself; I’ve come down to the theory that it doesn’t matter how good and skillful you are nor how well you train. There is always someone the will fit perfectly into your fighting style, automatically disabling all of your weapons.
Even for the greatest champion, at the moment something doesn’t go their way, frustration, desperation, fatigue and finally fear will become their worst enemies.
They all fell, always have and always will. It is the principle of sports. Someone is always going to lose and the longer it takes and the higher they reach, the harder the pain is going to be.
Anderson “The Spider” Silva, was the perfect example. He successfully defended his belt in 10 different opportunities, becoming the longest UFC streak, just to get knocked out for disrespecting Weidman’s power, as he tried to dodge his punches.
In his so anticipated rematch fight, we were all waiting for a vicious revenge, but instead we all received an upsetting injury stoppage. The Spider broke his leg, after attempting a leg kick.
Last Saturday, November 14th, a new major upset was added in the MMA history book, as Ronda “Rowdy” Rousey, lost her belt via KO, delivered by former boxer champion Holly Holm.
Ronda arrived in Australia with a perfect record of 12-0, winning 11 of her professional bouts in the first round. Her dominating performance over dangerous opponents had her in a privileged position, becoming a huge celebrity.
She was on top of the world. Movies, magazine covers, interviews, anything you could imagine, she was doing it and nailing it, but in a breaking attendance record at the Etihad Stadium, Ronda got knock out in a humiliating way in front of UFC’s largest attending crowd.
It is highly possible that as soon as Ronda Rousey is ready to step into the octagon again, she will get a chance for a rematch fight against Holly Holm. It is good for the fans, and it is good for business, but if you ask my humble opinion, “Ronda won’t be able to beat Holm”.
During UFC 193, Ronda did everything she wasn’t supposed to do. Maybe at the very first seconds, she looked calm and didn’t rush towards as she usually does. Nonetheless, after a few straight punches to the face, courtesy of Holm, Ronda lost focus and got desperate, chasing her all over.
It seemed that all Rousey wanted was to land a powerful punch to an extremely elusive and accurate Holm, who patiently waited and landed every single punch she threw. In the second round, Holm delivered a powerful head kick that sent Rousey to the mat.
Ronda Rousey was the champion, and she could have played an entirely different fight plan, but instead she stepped into Holm’s world and couldn’t deal with it. If she gets the rematch, she will be forced to execute that same strategy that already cost her first defeat, knockout, and her Bantamweight Champion Belt.
It was a bad night for Ronda, and now she will have to take time and heal her wounds and soul and hopefully learn from the experience because losing, especially in that way, hurts in the most terrible ways, but it is just the price of greatness.