Is Ronda Rousey's Grudge Against UFC Champion GSP a Bad Career Move?

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Is Ronda Rousey's Grudge Against UFC Champion GSP a Bad Career Move?
Women's MMA superstar Ronda Rousey doesn't think very highly of welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre. (Photo Credit: UFC/Zuffa)

Ronda Rousey isn't playing around when it comes to Georges St-Pierre.

If you've been listening to the UFC women's bantamweight title-holder for a while, she's been consistently trash-talking the welterweight champion ever since her own stardom started to take shape back in her Strikeforce days.

In fact, Rousey has been slamming GSP in interviews since November 2011 (via BestofMMA.com), even going as far as saying that the "boring" Canadian was "bad for the sport."

Of course, "Rowdy" is a grown adult who has every right to voice her own opinion.

But why does her recent string of interviews seem to bother so many people? It is the MMA community's loyalty to St-Pierre? Is it backlash from Rousey's mega-hype? Is it sexist undertones?

Or is Rousey simply coming off as a high-profile bully?

Maybe it's just a little bit of all of the above—with some more of the latter.

After all, just look at the two people involved.

On one side, you have Georges St-Pierre, the clean-cut gentlemanly king of the 170-pound division who (almost) never has a bad thing to say about anyone in the sport.

And at the other end of the feud, you have the brash-but-beautiful Ronda Rousey, an unapologetic glory-seeking superstar who's muscled her way into the UFC on the backs and broken arms of her fellow female fighters—with both a smile and a Nick Diaz-worthy snarl to boot.

Does Rousey's beef with GSP matter?

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Objectively, it's easy to see how the women's champion looks like the bad guy here.

Even though she's simply stressing an unpopular opinion, Rousey is still picking a fight with a much bigger star than herself, and one that's greatly beloved by a far larger portion of the UFC than her own homegrown fan club.

That already works against Rousey in her one-sided beef with "Rush." But when you add in the controversy about her overexposure and UFC 157 headlining spot over Dan Henderson and Lyoto Machida, she could be making far more critics than dedicated fans lately.

Moreover, in-fighting between UFC title-holders is a little unusual.

For the most part, the company's champions either get along or leave each other alone, content to deal with rivalries in their own divisions. Sure, Anderson Silva might be entertaining the idea of fights with GSP and Jon Jones, but they all publicly respect each other.

Granted, much of Rousey's vitriol for the welterweight champion seems to stem from her close affiliation with Cesar Gracie Jiu-Jitsu (the home camp of Nick Diaz) and St-Pierre's own so-called "ignorant" statements about having "a hard time watching girls fighting" inside of a cage. 

But as slighted as she might feel, trash-talking the welterweight champion doesn't seem to be drawing worthwhile attention from MMA fans.

Then again, maybe Rousey is fine with drawing the kind of laser-guided heat that seems to follow personalities like the equally divisive Jones everywhere he goes.

But just like Jones is protected by his iron-clad reign over the light heavyweight division, Rousey's growing infamy will only work in her favor as long as she remains the undefeated bombshell queen of the women's bantamweight division.

Either way, continually ripping into one of the most saintly figures in MMA seems like a move that can take her career into some choppy waters. If the tide turns against her, Rousey's hopefully prepared to weather the storm.

 


McKinley Noble is an MMA conspiracy theorist and FightFans Radio writer. His work has appeared in GamePro, Macworld and PC World. Talk with him on Twitter.

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