Doctor, I have this recurring dream. More of a nightmare, really:
It’s a typical day driving around Atlanta, which means that someone is riding right on my bumper. Before even looking to see who’s behind the wheel, I reflexively flip off the offender. We come to a logjam, stopped dead. The driver behind me gets out of the car and starts walking toward mine. And it’s Ronda Rousey.
It is, I suppose, a great sign of progress that the baddest person on the planet is now a woman. What Mike Tyson was in his prime, Rousey is to the parallel universe of cage fighting. This is great, bloody leap forward for gender parity, as well as a reminder that boxing hasn’t produced a cultural touchstone performer in a generation and change.
I’ve never seen her fight, but then I’m a very busy man and can’t spare 30 seconds to watch her. Rousey’s 12th victory came this weekend in a mere 34 seconds vs. Bethe Correia. That actually was longer than her last two fights combined. Her last five have gone a total of about three minutes.
Even if you’re not into the spectacle of bloodsport played out behind chain link, you might appreciate Rousey’s attitude. She had me in July, when after beating out Floyd Mayweather for the Best Fighter ESPY, she seized the occasion to bring up his history of domestic abuse. “I wonder how Floyd feels being beat by a woman for once,” she commented.
There are some people who deserve a whipping and one of those happened to be Correia after she made some flip pre-fight comments about suicide (Rousey’s father killed himself when she was only eight). Rousey was only too happy to supply one.
All that said, we now wonder what is next for Rousey. She is 28 and rapidly running out of women upon whom to whale. There is a real lack of depth in the global supply of females who choose to be pulverized in public by a blonde woodchipper.
Rousey is just too good, and the rest of her sport is just too far behind. There is talk about her next fighting someone she already has beaten twice, Meisha Tate. Really? The UFC needs to start scouting truck stop waitresses, middle school cafeteria ladies, rodeos and New Jersey-based reality shows for someone who can give her a real fight.
In the meantime, I’ll mind my manners on the road, just in case Rousey ever passes through.