Tag Archives: Ronda Rousey

Poland’s First UFC Champion

By Kaleb Page

March 20, 2015

The world of mixed martial arts is growing ever so rapidly across the globe. Today the ‘fight game’ can be found in every corner, whether it is in Iran, South Korea or Sweden; mixed martial arts is growing.

The UFC, which is essentially the NBA or NFL of mixed martial arts, is taking full advantage of this boom in the sport. Finding rising stars from Russia, Iran, Sweden, China, South Korea and elsewhere. While the time is coming to see these rising countries disperse throughout the divisions in the organization, and eventually take stake as title contenders, first time champions from established countries are still there too.

Poland has and continues to be an MMA prospect proving ground. The UFC has 10 Polish fighters already on the roster, and have recently added three more. As you can see the UFC is making its European expansion and making a big push at the best in Poland.

However, just last weekend a champion was crowned in a brand new division and that champion just so happens to be Polish. The UFC added the women’s strawweight division (115 lbs.) just this year and rising to the challenge was a former Muay Thai and kickboxing champion. Her name is Jonna Jedrzejczyk (Yed-zhey-chik) and her name is something you might want to get to know.

Just like Ronda Rousey who is in the UFC, Jedrzejczyk is undefeated (9-0) and looks like a dominant force to rule the division. As the first Polish champion (third ever European champion) in the UFC, the accomplishment is one that her country celebrated.

UFC president Dana White was very impressed with how Jedrzejczyk took on a veteran in Carla Esparza and made her look like an amateur.

“I like people who try to finish you. I’ve been on the Joanna bandwagon since day one. Coming into this fight, the thing for her was her takedown defense, and boy did she tune up her takedown defense. She’s a beast.” – UFC president Dana White

I think it was interesting to see the coverage by the likes of ESPN’s specialty section on women’s sports called ESPN W. Not very often are we seeing the UFC or much of anything done to make the sport more mainstream (a side from some Fox Sports pieces as the UFC is with Fox). There are great stories in the world of mixed martial arts to be told.

Even though it is a combat sport, there are more to these fighters than just the cage. That is why it is important to not only chronicle the hard-work, dedication and background of these fighters to get to where they are, but it is also important to get to make these athletes centerpieces like we do other athletes (making them more personable).

Joanna Jedrzejczyk is also another women’s sports story to follow and maybe use as something to build more equality for women in the sports world. Especially with her success in a male dominated sport that is just now beginning to accept female participation.

Maybe with more spotlight toward the success of female fighters like Rousey and Jedrzejczyk, it will provide for stronger role models in sport for young girls to look up to and challenge the sports spectrum.

As for now Jedrzejczyk will continue to ride this champions high as the UFC will host an event in Poland this weekend. In attendance will be the new champion of Poland, Joanna Jedrzejczyk.

 

Ronda Rousey and the Quest for an Undefeated Lifetime Record

By Kaleb Page

In a sport world like MMA where men dominate the scene, the baddest person on the planet, no matter the division, is actually a woman.

Ronda Rousey has earned her nickname “Rowdy” convincingly throughout her fighting career that began in 2011. Another nickname I think is fitting and should be considered is “the arm collector” due to this statistic: 8 of the 10 victories Ronda has, come by way of submission due to armbar. Even though people know what is coming it seems like she has her way with them, which unanimously led to her becoming the number one pound-for-pound female fighter in the world.

It can be said that the fire behind what Ronda is doing in the women’s bantamweight division in the UFC, is fueled by her competition in Judo as a representative of the United States. Her success of winning three gold’s, two silver, and two bronze medals over various competitions came with their fair share of losses as well. Ronda had a thought during Judo that ultimately led to her crossover into the MMA scene. In an interview with Jim Rome this week Ronda said, “I did all my losing in Judo, which is a lot of the reason why I wanted to do MMA so much because no one ever beat me in Judo that I couldn’t beat in a fight.” This quote so far has been proven time and time again, with Ronda convincingly winning every fight she has been in on her way to a 10-0 record.

Another thing that separates Ronda from any other fighter in her division is her win or die attitude. In the same interview she recalled a fight against Liz Carmouche and feeling like she could die in that fight. Liz put Ronda in a tight neck crank and dislocated Ronda’s jaw in the process. However, unlike some fighters who by that point would be tapping out, Ronda’s mindset was, “I would rather break my neck than lose this fight.” She did live up to her word and defeated Liz Carmouche with her trademark armbar later in the first round.

Ronda is a female icon in the world of sports that needs more attention than she is already receiving. Her ultimate goal of course it to end her UFC career in a fashion nobody at the highest level on the women’s side has done: retire undefeated. Her next opponent is rumored to be Cat Zingano, which is in the works to take place early 2015. Another stout test for Ronda with this opponent being undefeated as well.

If I had to put money on any athlete in a competitive sport like this to go undefeated, it would be “Rowdy” Ronda Rousey. Just by the way she carries herself alone, puts her on a whole different level than any of her counterparts. Her relentless attitude and training are world-class in part to her time training as an Olympian. Even though in the world of MMA it only takes one punch, kick, or submission to end this dominating run; I just don’t see it happening. Especially when you have such a driven fighter who has only seen the second round once in her entire career; an insane number in MMA, and in the best fight league worldwide the UFC.

As to anyone else who has doubts as to why I am on the Rousey Bandwagon or as to why she could end up retiring undefeated, Ronda has a message for you: “All the ones (opponents) they bring are legitimate; I work and prepare so hard that there’s nothing they can do about it.” So if you got a challenge to bring Ronda’s way suit yourself, but don’t say I didn’t warn you already about what you are going up against.

Transgender Fighter Causing Stir in MMA

BY LORI RAUDIO

The mixed martial arts world has been making headlines recently surrounding the first transgender fighter, Fallon Fox. Fox was born a man, but identifies as a woman and has testosterone levels legally classifying her as one.

Fox’s entry into the MMA world has created controversy as to whether she should be allowed to compete against other women. The International Olympic Committee has ruled yes, as she is legally a woman. Others, however, do not feel the same way. Ultimate Fighting Championship announcer Joe Rogan said on his podcast, “You’re a man. That’s a man, OK?”

Rogan was not the only one to speak out about Fox. The UFC recently suspended heavyweight Matt Mitrione for his remarks. In an interview with MMA Hour he said, “That is a lying, sick, sociopathic, disgusting freak. And I mean that, because you lied on your license to beat up women. That’s disgusting. You should be embarrassed for yourself.”

UFC Champion Ronda Rousey also weighed in, saying Fox has an unfair advantage. If Fox climbs the rankings enough, Rousey may have to compete against her. “It’s not something that happened to her,” Rousey said. “It was a decision she made. She should be aware in her career after that, it’s going to be an arduous path.”

Transgender athletes have long been a point of debate in sports including the cases of Renee Richards, a tennis player and Kye Allums, a college basketball player. These people have met the requirements set by sporting organizations to legally play, yet there is still resistance from society and questions of fairness.

This debate surrounding transgender athletes is likely to continue on, and surely more transgender people will emerge over time. Like homosexuality in sport, transgender athletes in sport also needs to be addressed, without the backlash of negativity and hatred. This will likely be a hot topic over the next few years, and it will be interesting to follow how Fox and similar individuals are accepted into the sports world.

ESPN celebrates ‘Danica 500’ and ignores Rousey

BY ANTHONY ALFORD

This past weekend was a historic weekend for women’s sports as NASCAR driver Danica Patrick and UFC fighter Ronda Rousey both took center stage. It was a weekend in which sports media latched on to the historic female storyline.

ESPN began its NASCAR coverage in a “Sunday Conversation” interview with Patrick within 24 hours of her Daytona 500 pole win. Patrick continued to dominate ESPN coverage throughout the week. It felt like ESPN was covering the “Danica 500” rather than the Daytona 500.

Meanwhile, ESPN seemed to ignore fighter Ronda Rousey. Rousey and Liz Carmouche became the first female fighters to compete in UFC history. For years, women’s MMA has been reduced to sideshows on local and regional promotions. But Rousey had the “it” factor to allow women’s MMA to be taken seriously. However, because ESPN does not have TV rights for the UFC (Fox has a 7-year deal with UFC), ESPN felt little need to cover Rousey’s fight.

Rousey and Patrick are both mainstream stars, but if ESPN had it their way, Rousey would have never even existed. ESPN offered only 30 seconds of Rousey’s fight coverage. That’s right, 30 seconds.

ESPN’s coverage selection draws on an even bigger issue in sport. Does ESPN really care about the rise of women’s sports, or is it just a marketing ploy to benefit their outlets? ESPN covered Patrick’s race, but not Rousey’s fight because it was on another network. Sports fans should hope for competition from other networks to end ESPN’s monopoly on sports.

There are rumors of a Fox Sports 1, but those rumors say the network won’t be launched until August. Until then, Americans are stuck with ESPN and its interpretation of which athletes should make history.

On a weekend where women’s sports should be celebrated, instead we must focus on the agenda of mainstream media. Both of these ladies have earned the spotlight this weekend, however only one of the athletes got the fair treatment she deserved.