UFC 193 was a shocking fight for MMA fans this weekend. The crowd favorite and undefeated bantamweight champion, Ronda Rousey was overcome by Holly Holm (10-0) in a historic fight.
No one really gave Holly Holm a chance. Everyone automatically assumed that the undefeated war goddess - Ronda Rousy would, customarily, win the fight. But the fight was fair and the best athlete won. This epic battle was a career changer for Holm.
The fight was by no means a close call. Rousey spent a lot of the time in the octagon chasing Holm, trying to land strikes, but ended up taking a lot of hits on the way.
59 seconds into the second round, Holm found the perfect opportunity to land a headkick that put Rousey on the canvas. Holm jumped on the opportunity to deliver several blows before the referees intervined, ending the judo Olympian's 12 win streak.
In her post-fight interview, Holm remained humble, thanking her team and even Ronda Rousey for being a trail blazer for women in MMA.
Rousey also released a statement after the fight. "I just wanted to thank everyone for the love and support," she wrote on Instagram. "I appreciate the concerns about my health, but I'm fine. As I had mentioned before, I'm going to take a little bit of time, but I'll be back."
So, why is this fight so significant?
Many people are saying that this is the greatest upset is MMA history since Matthew Serra beat Georges St. Pierre at UFC 83, but we think Rousey's legacy goes much deeper than that. "Rowdy" is the definition of fan favorite, is a pop culture icon and has already accomplished so much in her career.
To begin with, Ronda was the first woman to win a UFC title. She was also the first woman athlete to guest host ESPN's Sports Center. Her strong attitude and opinions have helped change public opinion on body image and sexuality. She inspired women to be strong and to stick up for themselves. Her success brought a lot of outsider attention to the UFC. Cherry on top? She wrote a New York Times bestselling book, appeared in movies and booked large scale endorsements.
Rousey was thought of as invincible and unstoppable. Most people thought she would breeze through Holly like she had done with her previous opponents. But what the fans don't understand is the losing is just as important to an athlete as the winning. It gives athletes the opportunity to asses their physical strategy and mental toughness.
How Ronda will respond to this loss will say a lot for her character as a role model. But how she responds as an athlete will say a lot more. How is she going to come back?
Ronda will be back. There is no doubt about that. The question is what will Ronda 2.0 be like? Will she change her style? Will she consider diversifying her skill sets or stick to her judo background?