Ronda Rousey: Lack of Competition Will Hurt Superstar Status
Rousey signed a contract in November to make her the first female ever to join UFC. On Saturday, she will compete against Liz Carmouche at UFC 157 for the Women's Bantamweight Championship.
This will be the inaugural match for the women's division in UFC. The organization hopes that it can utilize Rousey's popularity to advance the brand.
As a fighter, there is little doubt that she will be able to accomplish this. She has only had six matches in her MMA career, but each of them ended with easy first-round wins via her signature armbar. Only one match lasted more than one minute.
Will you watch Ronda Rousey compete in UFC?
The California native climbed the ranks of her division faster than anyone could have anticipated, and she has shown her complete dominance on the match.
In addition, Rousey is growing as a celebrity. She appeared in ESPN The Magazine's Body Issue, and is becoming a more recognizable household name in recent months.
This combination of skill and looks make her the perfect person to break the gender barrier in UFC.
However, the issue lies in the lack of competition.
Her first opponent, Carmouche, was likely selected as someone expected to lose easily. It certainly would not reflect highly on the UFC new golden girl if she lost in her debut.
According to Bovada, Rousey is listed as a favorite of (-1100), which means a $100 bet on her would only net $9 for a win.
There are more formidable opponents for "Rowdy" Rousey, but even competitors like Sarah Kaufman or Miesha Tate could not keep up with her.
While fans will tune in this time to watch the dominant fighter make quick work of her opponent, it does not mean that this will continue after a couple of matches.
In order for the entire women's division to become more than a novelty act, there needs to be some sort of rivalry to build a story around. One person cannot do it all.
Unfortunately, Rousey currently does not have an equal. Until that happens, there is a decent chance she will fade back into oblivion.
Even some of the greatest in sports do not become superstars, and Rousey could be next in line.
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