In the modern era of social media, it’s very hard for celebrity-level athletes to ignore the noise. Such is the case for current UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey—who took to Twitter to respond to comments made by Dave Camarillo in his recent interview with MMA Fighting’s Luke Thomas.
Camarillo is the author of Submit Everyone, the former grappling coach for AKA and a highly sought-after instructor. The Brazilian jiu-jitsu and judo black belt was asked by Thomas to respond to a perception he had heard, in regards to Rousey not being an elite-level grappler.
“I would say no,” Camarillo said, “but remember she's not fighting in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. She's fighting in MMA and in MMA right now, she's doing phenomenal.”
Sunday, Rousey tweeted this statement in response:
Rousey’s mother, Dr. Ann Marie DeMars, also chimed in:
Camarillo has the credentials and reputation to critique anyone in MMA today. However, he was also offering a lot of praise toward the first-ever UFC women’s champ.
“This is early in her career and she's incredible,” he said. “She's putting judo on the map. She's putting women's MMA on the map or she's continuing its legacies right now.”
During the interview, Camarillo discusses what he thinks Rousey does and doesn’t do well, breaks down certain elements of her last fight with Liz Carmouche and compliments Rousey’s uncanny ability to land her patented armbar submission. He tweeted a brief response to Rousey and De Mars:
He later added another tweet in his defense:
Whether you are a popular athlete at the highest of highs or lowest of lows, you are going to receive your fair share of praise, coupled with a good amount of criticism. It doesn’t necessarily matter that you are the champ, for it doesn’t make you immune to negativity or criticism.
In this instance, Camarillo was merely breaking down the strengths and weaknesses of Rousey’s grappling and giving an honest assessment. It exists in all sports, no matter who that athlete may be: a boxer’s striking, a baseball player’s swing or a quarterback’s throwing ability.
Rousey is doing herself no favors by responding on Twitter. If anything, she is making herself appear sensitive. Her mother jumping into the fray certainly doesn’t help either. This isn’t the first time for DeMars—who earlier in the week complained about the coaching switch on the upcoming season of The Ultimate Fighter.
Rousey is undoubtedly the best fighter in women’s MMA today. Along with the praise comes criticism. She should ignore the noise.
Michael Stets is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report.