Many have frowned upon Ronda Rousey’s behavior on The Ultimate Fighter Season 18, but if Dennis Hallman’s recent anecdote checks out, fans are just getting a small sample of what life was really like on set with the women’s bantamweight champ.
Hallman, who is known for submitting Matt Hughes twice and wearing a speedo at UFC 133, is a man with a wealth of experience and knowledge to share with young fighters, which is why Miesha Tate asked him to come on the show as a guest coach.
There has been an outcry of disdain for Rousey’s antics since TUF 18 premiered four weeks ago.
In his short time on the show, Hallman witnessed in person why so many fans had abandoned Rousey’s bandwagon. During an appearance on DirtysMMACorner, he recalled an incident where Rousey lashed out at TUF producer Jamie Campione:
The Ultimate Fighter was having problems with the checks for the assistant coaches, like the money coming in for them. It was like a couple of weeks behind, and Ronda came to complain to Jamie Campione, who is the producer. She came and said, 'Hey Jamie, I’m really pissed off I brought some of the best coaches in the world here to this show, and they’re supposed to get paid. Here’s three weeks later, and they haven’t been paid.'
That’s a legit argument, and Jamie from the UFC, very respectful, and she said, 'Oh my gosh, Ronda. I’m so sorry; it will be taken care of very soon.' Before she could finish her sentence, Ronda interrupted her and said, 'You shut your mouth when I’m talking to you. You don’t open your mouth. When I speak to you, you sit there and listen and shut your mouth.' She said that to the producer.
Controversy seems to follow Rousey wherever she goes, but things have obviously gone a bit too far on TUF.
It’s going to take more than random excuses of bad editing to save Rousey from the endless onslaught of criticism that will continue to come her way. Like her former training buddies Nick and Nate Diaz, Rousey is quickly becoming the fighter people love to hate.
Perhaps some of the blame should be bestowed on casual fans for not avidly following Rousey’s career in the first place. A general misconception amongst fans early on was that Rousey mirrored soft-spoken women’s MMA icon Gina Carano, which seems completely ludicrous at this point.
Rousey’s mean-mugging, “I don’t give a damn” attitude didn’t just appear overnight. It has been there all along. What else did fans expect?
“Every time I’ve been saying, ‘Ronda Rousey is mean, she’s nasty, she’s this.’ Well, she’s mean and she’s nasty. That’s who she is, that’s the way she is and that’s why she is who she is, and it is what it is.”
Hallman believes Rousey’s problems likely run much deeper than that.
In speaking with DirtysMMACorner, he claimed that Rousey’s actions could be the result of a serious mental health issue. If not medically induced, he labeled the first ever women’s UFC champ as “severely immature”:
I do think that Ronda has some sort of mental health issue. It’s either that or she’s severely immature. She acts like a 14-year-old boy trapped in a woman’s body, always trying to make everybody think that she’s tough when really she’s not sure of herself.
There certainly isn’t any need in Rousey convincing anyone of her toughness. She’s a UFC champion with a 7-0 record. Her days as a fan favorite have likely come to an end, but Rousey’s time in the spotlight won’t change much, outside of a few boos replacing cheers.
She is still the top-ranked women’s fighter on the planet, and it would literally take a Cyborg to change that.