I want to talk a bit about history. It’s the thing MMA fans know about the least, after all.

See, there was a fighter, undefeated for a long time, super confident and borderline arrogant. They said humiliating and disrespectful things to opponents in the buildup to fights and turned every press event or weigh-in into a circus. The fighter was hated by most of the media, as well as most of the public. They taunted and disrespected opponents after beating them.

Sound familiar? It should.

Muhammad Ali is considered to be the greatest boxer to have ever lived. He transcended the sport of boxing to become a household name. His antics were looked down on and hated. His remarks were racist and disrespectful in a time of controversial tension. He spoke political views that were not popular.

But, here’s the kicker: No one remembers any of that.

In fact, the picture of him standing over Sonny Liston while taunting him is one of the most iconic images in all of sports. It’s even used as a background for motivational quotes and inspiration. It would be borderline blasphemous to use it in a meme meant to show arrogance and disrespect. Instead, it is used to symbolize confidence and believing in oneself.

Before you stretch your fingers and get ready to post a “laughable to compare Ali to Ronda Rousey” quote in the comments, at least admit that there are a lot of parallels between the two. Ronda paved a way for how women are viewed in sports. Ali paved a way for how African Americans are viewed in sports. Never before had anyone used the “heel” antics in the sport. His clever catch phrases and quotes are etched in history. Boxers didn’t “sell” fights like that. Neither did women fighters in MMA. Ali said his inspiration for his interviews and antics was pro wrestling’s Gorgeous George, a precursor and huge influence on another famous name: Ric Flair.

Ric Flair, a legend and master of his craft. He was the leader of the Four Horsemen, one of the most well-known heel factions in pro wrestling. Here’s the thing about the Four Horsemen, though: They weren’t the most dominant wrestlers in the world. They were damn good, but what they were really good at was making an overweight guy with a lisp marketable. The late and very great Dusty Rhodes was not the typical marketing dream that a promoter of the time would bank on leading the charge as top babyface, but he became one with the help of Flair and the Horsemen. Ric Flair’s stable of friends sold fights. Love them, hate them, boo or cheer, they got people talking and they got people watching. And Dusty Rhodes was a great wrestler. One of the best of all time. But would he have gotten the chance to get a push to show us that if it wasn’t for Flair? It could be argued that without Flair, perhaps we wouldn’t have cared as much about Rhodes. Does that change how good Dusty was? No.

Argue all you want about loving or hating Ronda. She made you care about a women’s division that just wasn’t quite marketable. As good as the skill has been for years, I just don’t believe you would care about the overweight lisp of the landscape of women’s MMA without her. You wouldn’t even care about Holly Holm as much without her. I know this because I lived it. Myself, Alexis Davis, Tara LaRosa, Roxanne Modafferi and, to an even greater extent, Holly. We’ve all been around. For a long time, a lot longer than Ronda. Each of us were considered the best at one point in time. Holly even cleaned out her entire sport and became a legend in it. But it wasn’t until Ronda that people were willing to pay $60 to see her on the hope she would “give Ronda what she deserved.”

The Four Horsemen was a faction of friends. They trash-talked, got booed and didn’t win all the time. But they were the most talked about team in pro wrestling and they got you talking about wrestling.

The Four Horsewomen… I’ve stated before, we’re friends. Ride-or-die friends. We don’t win all the time, but name another women’s team in MMA that gets you talking more. And you know what? It doesn’t matter, it’s our thing.

Is the Undertaker really a “dead man”? Is Ken Shamrock really the “World’s Most Dangerous Man”? Did gravity really forget Adrian Neville? We’re the Four Horsewomen, and the originals love the homage. Period. MMA fans are such elitists…

My servings of Ronda are from actually being her friend. I don’t just get fed what the media puts out. People see Ronda looking fabulous in dresses, clamor to touch her, hide behind cars to take photos… that’s the Ronda you guys see.

I know the human Ronda. The one that needs to be nagged to do laundry and Jedi mind tricked into competing somehow in order to trick her into cleaning her room. The human that loves playing Pokemon on her Nintendo DS. The human that falls asleep on the couch in a coma after stuffing herself with buffalo wings on first Friday on Abbot Kinney. And yes, the human that lost to a great fighter.

I also personally know Ronda, the champion, who trains like a champion, fulfills media commitments like a champion, fought seven times like a champion and, yes, lost, fighting until her body literally gave out, like a champion.

To quote a friend, “You aren’t even one of the best burger flippers in the restaurant you work at.” The truth is, we all know what it’s like to lose, but very few of us will know what it’s like to be the best in the world. At anything (credit to Tara LaRosa for that thought).

Love her or hate her, boo or cheer, Ronda gets you talking. Ronda gets you watching. If it wasn’t for her, women wouldn’t be main and co-main on a major fight card. If they were, you wouldn’t have watched. Does this mean the talent wasn’t there? No, you just didn’t care. Holly Holm represents the American dream in more ways than one. Hate Ronda, be happy she lost, but take the fact that she isn’t a trailblazing legend who has ruined her legacy out of the argument. That’s just ignorance.

And anything else, well, you’re just getting worked.

About The Author

Shayna Baszler
Guest Contributor

Shayna Baszler, also known as the “Queen of Spades,” is a veteran fighter and a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu brown belt who competed on season 18 of The Ultimate Fighter. She made her professional debut in 2003 and has appeared in such notable promotions as Strikeforce, Invicta FC and EliteXC. Baszler has faced many of the sport’s notable names, including Tara LaRosa, Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino, Sarah Kaufman, Sara McMann, Julie Kedzie, Roxanne Modafferi and Sarah D’Alelio. Baszler trains alongside UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey, as well as UFC heavyweight Josh Barnett. Outside of the cage, the South Dakota native is a certified EMT and counts roller derby and heavy metal among her interests.

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  • Ronice Silva

    Great text!!!! Ronda! Ronda! Ronda! Always ours Champ!!!! Brazilian fan!!!!!

  • Christina Moe

    You put into words what I’ve been thinking ever since the fight. Great post, Shayna! As a fan I had a realization the night of the fight the moment after the knockout. I’m not a fan of ‘Ronda the Champion’ (well yes that too BUT) I’m a fan of ‘Ronda the Person’ despite the fact that my only exposure to her (sadly) is through media. I was no less a fan after the loss than I was before it because she’s inspired me in ways that no one has before, and when I went to do my workout in the basement on monday night, I still glanced up at Ronda’s picture on the wall for motivation between punches. And it still helped!

    The fact that she lost a fight doesn’t automatically delete everything she’s achieved, and that’s A LOT! People seem to forget that the sport of MMA, and not just the womens devisions, owe her so much. It would be nowhere near what it is today. Hell, my 52 year old mom who has never watched sports in her life now has a ‘DNB’ t-shirt, works out 3-4 times a week and watches MMA on youtube on her spare time. All thanks to Ronda.

    I was a Ronda fan a week ago. I am a Ronda fan today. And I’ll be a Ronda fan tomorrow.

    Also, Ronda is lucky to have friends like you, Shayna, and the rest of the horsewomen. Keep being awesome the four of you and let Ronda know that the fans still support her! She’ll always be my champ, no matter the ups and downs!

  • The way I see it, people who stop being a fan of an athlete because they lose a fight/race/whatever just weren’t real fans to begin with. Coming back from a loss is much harder than riding a total winning streak. Looking forward to watching Ronda work through this and come out the other side stronger and better. You’re a good friend, Shayna, and this post was awesome.

    • GRAWSLAVE

      She is gorgeous and insanely good!
      Real Fan here!

  • David Gray

    Shayna – excellent article. You have a knack for writing too. As you keenly observe, Ronda’s true fans won’t desert her. Perhaps the reason I like her is because she is a living advocate for the superior woman – stand tall, walk the walk, own it. That she used these attributes and work ethic to become the best just ads to her stature. She’ll Be Back!

  • spectrumofthoughts

    Well written Shayna..Ronda is a trailblazer indeed.And winning and losing are part of the game.

  • Ben Melluish

    Wow, awesome post Shayna! You’re a really good writer. I started watching MMA through Ronda Rousey and have followed her ever since. While I do believe she got a little bit too big for her boots at times, I think that after this loss, and the real talk she’ll be having with her true friends like yourself, she’ll be back. More humble, more determined and a better fighter.

    I know you’re her friend and so probably won’t want to comment, but what are your thoughts on GFC? Does she need to switch camps?

  • Navin R Johnson

    History?? I know plenty about it , Ive been a fan of the UFC since the very 1st PPV…Ive also watched the WWE since the 3rd Mania , & I’m also a huge fan of Ali’s antics & the ” heel ” style …
    I LOVE Ronda win or lose !!! I’m not a Holm hater just cuz she won nor am I on her wagon cuz of of it , tho she really did look like a different fighter that night ( clearly a “student of the tapes” ) …I’m also a huge fan of the womens division in general just as I was the Diva’s when I was a WWE regular , most of my Fav fighters in that division dont win as often as I’d hope for them to , but I love & cheer for them anyway…
    I really had high hopes she would achieve her dream of a undefeated title reign then retire , but I dont think any less of her for not making it , quite a lofty goal that one…Life is pretty unrelenting when it comes to making people take an L sometimes so that they learn something or change something for the better…
    So Sad to hear that she & Joanna & Valerie are out for 6 mo’s… poor Val showed us why having a rock solid chin sometimes leads to play doh face…
    great read “BAZ”!!! I look fwd to seeing yall do the 4 horsewomen bit in the WWE…#WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO 14x world WOOOOOOOO #FLAIR #toBEtheMANuGOTTAbeattheMAN ;) #WWE #UFC #iLUVmyUFC

  • Baron Karza

    Well said! Ronda loomed so large that we forgot at the end of the day she was human. But damn what a powerful wonderful ride that was. I thank you for that, as does my niece whose 9 learning jiu jujitsu now because of her. If she chooses to never fight again and works on the acting that’s just as good. She was, is and will be a legend in mma forever.

    • Baron Karza

      what made this sadder is that JJ;s epic battle vs valerie letourneau got lost in the noise of this. both ladies were amazing.

    • brooksie

      Yeah, my thoughts exactly. The drama of Ronda re-setting herself and becoming dedicated to a new goal of reclaiming her title is almost intoxicating from a sports perspective and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want to see it. I didn’t follow combat sports at all until I accidently stumbled across Ronda on a Youtube video or something like that. Not only was she a great fighter with an exciting style, fast and aggressive but she was a unique character with a compelling backstory. It didn’t take me long to become a fan.
      Some of the things that have gone on in the past few months have made me worry for her. She was doing so much and there are only so many hours in the day that I wondered is something might suffer. Honestly, as much as it pained me to see, I can’t say what happened in Melbourne was that big a shock. Ronda was giving so much of herself and riding this crazy rocketship of fame that no one can totally control that I could almost sense some sort of reset coming.
      So if Ronda does call her roughly four years in MMA (amazing, all that in 4 yrs) one of her quadrennials and goes on to the next one, not only would I not begrudge her, I would thank her for the electrifying entertainment she’s provided me with and I would salute her for one of the more phenomenal athletic careers I can think of. Lots of great athletes out there. How many actually changed a sport? Altered it forever?

  • TomKemp

    Great stuff. People don’t realize how much of prize fighting is trying to sell a story, the same as any other form of entertainment.

  • Bucho

    “But, here’s the kicker: No one remembers any of that.”

    Huh? Everyone remembers all of that. Ali’s as famous for his trash talk as he is for his fisticuffs.

    • pato2

      There’s so many wrong things Shayna says. Here’s one that really made me laugh “Each of us were considered the best at one point in time.” What???

    • MetaphysicalMan

      Shayna is saying that his trash talk is talked about in a positive light these days. Back then, there were much more negative reactions.

      • fellowgothamitesince1939

        Plus imagine if they had social media back then lordy lord it wouldn’t have been pretty.

  • Michael Supple

    I am in agreement with Christina, I am so much more intrigued with Ronda as as person than as a fighter.I think that fighting has been her avenue to influence young women in a positive way and I respect her for that. I’ll be surprised if she doesn’t come back stronger and better.And Shayna Baszler. you are a talented writer! When you give up fighting, you should be writing about it.

  • Becky Long

    I admire the the friendship that you all have as a group. Something like that truly is hard to come by. When she took that L I felt it, as silly as it sounds. Maybe because I seen the passion that drove her throughout her MMA career or because I read her book and felt like our crazies were on equivalent levels.

    Whatever the case maybe I can’t imagine what she’s mentally putting herself through but if there’s a chance that she may read this then she needs to know that she’s got people in her corner…STILL. Her fans are STILL rooting for her. She made a positive impact on so many that her presence can’t be easily swept under the rug.

    After time has passed and things are all said and done the scariest part that’ll come from this is the type of fighter she’ll evolve into. My oh my what a show that’ll be.

    Good read Baszler. Your friends are dope…but you already knew that 😉.

  • Rachel

    She’s human. Just like the ready of us. I just happen to think she’s an awesome human. The things people are saying, to try and tear her down are despicable. Lots of love to ya, girl. @rondarousey #fourhorsewomen

  • Kyrie Puaoi

    I am a huge Ronda fan. Huge. I appreciate so much, every post of love and support that I read. What you’ve written here is beautiful and is absolute truth. Ronda Rousey is the only person that I have ever been a fan of. Usually, I just don’t care about that sort of thing. But from the very first time I saw her fight, she had me hooked. And just like your article says, back then, I didn’t really care too much about MMA. But Ronda made me care. My husband couldn’t help but laugh at me the night of 193, because I started spewing info and stats to my friend (who doesn’t watch). He was all, “Well excuse me Miss MMA expert…”

    I can’t help but to care now. Ronda has inspired and motivated me to change my life, literally, CHANGE MY LIFE, my mentality, my actions, in the very best of ways. I am so grateful for her fight every single day. It frustrates me that people have so much negativity and hate to drop on her, but it’s just ignorance and ultimately their loss that they cannot recognize and appreciate greatness when they see it. Sadly, some people will always find ways to tear others down, to judge and to criticize them. It was because of Ronda that I began to develop the strength within myself to brush shit like that off. It’s because of her that I began to find value in myself as a person. Because of Ronda, I began to feel I had a voice that was meant to be heard. I could go on and on with positive ways she has impacted me…this person that I’ve never even had the honor of meeting in real life. Not everyone is so lucky to find a hero like that in their lifetime. My heart goes out to her, but I believe that Ronda is a true champion, one that will take this trial and once again turn it into triumph, in the most epic way. Can’t wait to see you back in action, Ronda! You fucking rock!

  • Robert49

    In the words of Olympic wrestling gold medalist & WWE star, Kurt Angle….
    “Oh It’s True! It’s Damn True!”

  • Robert49

    Shayna, the 4 Horsewomen needs to go do a WWE appearance and kick those Diva’s asses trying to steal yawls gimmick. Calling themselves the 4 Horsewomen….Ha! (Sarcasm off)
    but it’s a idea though…..LOL

  • Jez Man

    The big difference is Ali had the talent to back it up. Rousey does not. She bought into her own hype and it proved her undoing.

    • MetaphysicalMan

      Ali lost several times. What was his undoing?

      And you seem to be arguing with yourself. Was the cause of Rousey’s loss a so-called lack of talent, or that she bought into her own hype (implying she did have the talent to win but squandered it)

      • Jez Man

        I’m talking about Rousey’s undoing not Ali’s. They should not even be mentioned in the same article. There is no comparison between them. Ali was the greatest, Ronda falsely believed she was.

        • – M

          Think of it this way. Ali was the greatest in HINDSIGHT. Look up the definition. At the time of his first loss, was dubbed the greatest yet? Ronda is on her first loss.

      • Jez Man

        How am I arguing with myself? I made a comment, you replied and I replied back. You then edited your comment. Ronda is a world class Judoka with rudimentary striking skills. The UFC, media and her coaches all hyped her saying she could out box Mayweather and beat most men which is utterly ridiculous. Unfortunately Ronda believed them all. The women’s bantamweight division in the UFC at this early stage is very weak and she was rolling through ordinary opponents. Then along came Holly. In a judo match Ronda would beat Holly but MMA isn’t judo and Ronda does not have the striking skills (despite what the UFC, media and her coaches say).

  • Jeremy Botter

    This is an incredible story. Well done, Shayna.

  • Edward Martinez

    Awesome article! I think you should pursue writing constantly for the MMA world. Everything you said is so true, but clearly your powerful words are coming out due to the “noise” of meaningless people/media. You gotta learn to block it out, you could have a high IQ but it’s worthless without EQ. Peace

  • Nohealani

    Thank u for this. It just shows more in depth of how extraordinary Ronda is. The words are so heart felt and it shows that not only is she a human being but she is a champion as well. No matter win or lose she will always be a champion … Nohealani

  • karen

    Thank you! thank you! thank you for this! i am THAT fan who never looked in the direction of MMA. I am someone who can’t even stomache these fights. I read an article about Ronda….haven’t stopped watching/following her since. (its hard..i get very nauseous watching humans hit human….lol!) But what she has done for female athletes and females in general is nothing short of amazing. Praying for her return to win back her title, if she wants it. if not, i hope she kicks ass in anything else she chooses.

  • mini

    Shayna, thank you for bringing some sanity to the conversation. It’s really frustrating how the most heartless and ignorant have been the loudest these past few days. It’s good to know that Ronda has you, Marina and Jessamyn to lift her up right now. I support Ronda not because of her fight record or the shiny image the fickle media hype machine has fed me, but because she’s an example of an imperfect person who overcame adversity to accomplish great things and strives to improve herself continuously. I root for her now more than ever.

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  • Salower

    So nicely written. Not just as a supportive voice but as as a reminder of the double standard that exists. Women should be able to market their brand and build mental confidence as men do. Of course if you play the “bad guy” as RR has done to create excitement for the sport there will be extra backlash. But this is not good natured ribbing or even taunting she’s receiving. It’s deep and bitter sounding offense that she would dare to be cocky/dare to play the bad guy (so unwomanly! so unprofessional!) dare to claim herself unbeatable (how laughable!) and dare to claim she might beat a man (especially “butt-hurting”). All of this followed too often by dismissive analysis of whether she and HH are “doable.” I’ve seen how dominant these comments are while trying to find information on what happened this fight. It’s opened my eyes to how differently women are treated if they don’t play the game of humble pie. Rounda Rousey continues to win my respect and appreciation for facing her fears and DARING to put herself out there in the biggest way possible. I’m not taking anything away from HH’s brilliant performance or grounded professionalism when I say that I hope RR comes back HARD, just as outspoken.just as unapologetic and just as inspiring.

  • Gengis Kahn

    Good article from someone with true perspective of the person, Ronda Rousey. We met Ronda at the book signing in Denver and she was such a sweetheart. Most people forget how she has worked and put herself “out there”, on display. My god that is so not easy and hard work. We always say “people are people” and unfortunately there are so many ******** out there that have to tear someone else down to make themselves feel better. There is a real world out there people, make your statement, get a life, and move on. Ronda, keep your head up, heal up, and get some dang rest! Who does 3 title defenses in 9 months?
    No band wagoner here, will always be a fan! Go Rousey, Go 4 Horsewomen!

  • Mytwocents

    I live in Louisville and love Ali. He even has the Muhammand Ali center. I agree with some of what you are saying about him and the comparisons. The difference is he refused to go to war and it was huge. Sorry but Ronda and most atheletes will probably have that kind of political impact.

    Ali also had charisma, was funny, and entertaining outside of the ring. RR is that to some but also is just a cocky, dispectful loud mouth to others. I won’t take away from her talent, just as new champ HH never did. She made women’s MMA big and dominated it until now.

    I hate to sound like a lot of people but the thing that has always botherered me about RR is her attitude. She was told how great she was and drank her own koolaid. Of course people are glad to see her beat.. She was an obnoxious bully to those who didn’t admire her “celebrity”. She got put on a pedestal. She made it apparent that to society being pretty was a talent that was admirable. Because other MMA women fighters that are great such as Cyborg get mocked for their looks more than their talent is spoken of.

    This is a flaw in all things though. But how horrible must it be for Humble, respectful, Holly Holm to have to talk more about RR instead of her dominant win.

    Why do you think that is? I think it’s because celebrities and on lookers blindly liked RR. Kind of how the Kardashians are famous because they keep putting them on magazines and TV. They’re just rich people. So the hype spread.

    I understand your wrestling comparisons but those are staged wins. Rr lacks humility. That’s an ugly thing. Everyone loves an underdog especially when the champ (was) so obnoxious.

    One more thing, her hypocrisy.. Beating up a boyfriend after attacking Floyd for beating women, dating an alleged wife beater, etc.. Then she can’t even show her face after a loss? Name a champ that hid. Life is about losses and getting back up. She shouldn’t be ashamed of that, just how she’s acted. Even if it is an act. Maybe she needs a better PR team.

    I’m writing this as an ex athelete and someone who is in the entertainment business now. These are my opinions on why people have turned on RR.

    • Peoplearesomethingelse

      Then if you a successful entertainer you should now it was all an act to sale tickets… We knew that. Why take all that personal? It is not like that is who she was in real life. Get over yourself. Good grief…

  • Mytwocents

    One more thing that irks me.. No congratulations to Holly Holm? No post fight interview like Valerie and others had to do. Just looks like a temper tantrum.

  • Jade Scheers

    This was a great read! I have always watched Ronda fight but it wasn’t until I heard Ronda on Howard and I read her book that I fell in love with Ronda the person. She is an inspiration and will always be a champion. The way the media has flipped on her makes me sick. Our culture loves building people up and waiting for them to fall so they can rip them apart when they do. Some of the things I have read are fucking unbelievable. It’s easy for these people to sit behind a keyboard and bash someone. These people have not and will never accomplish 1/100th of what Ronda did by the time she was 17. I would love it if Ronda harnessed all of this negativity into training and coming back better than ever but I will love her just as much if she decided to make a change. I will keep wearing my DNB shirt to my daughters Girl Scout meetings and supporting her no matter what. I love you Ronda!

    • Peoplearesomethingelse

      Well said!!

  • Stacey

    Tell Ronda we still love her and she is still our champion!! I have every bit of confidence in her that she will get that belt back!!!!

  • João Gaspar

    Criticizing is easier than acting. Ronda acts. So all love Ronda. Including those who speak evil, love Ronda.

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  • James J Raynor

    its the promoter and image-maker packaging the female fighters that did the major selling job for women’s mma. which is why the fertitta family is worth billions. every fighter needs an opponent, a ruleset, and a roster of top notch competitors. Zuffa provides that.

    its Zuffa that is primarily responsible for the rise of women’s MMA which is why they will get the biggest piece ofthe $50 million PPV revenue stream.

    just follow the money.

  • sean9115

    She’s right was the one that made want to watch the girls fight in the UFC and if she leaves who’s going to fill that void is it Holly she’s a great fighter but she’s not actually making want to watch her fights even after dismantling rousey I will watch the rematch in hope of rousey some how winning the title back.

  • LittleMo

    Ronda built her reputation by fighting people who did not have the skill level to compete to start with let alone beat her. She came up against an all-around champion in Holly and got her ass handed to her. She deserves every bit of embarrassment dished out to her.

    • emilyroseCOvet

      WTF did you just snort because you’re obviously fucking high!?!? Meisha Tate & Cat Zingano don’t “have the skill level to compete”?!? Another correction for you fuck stick…Holly Holm wasn’t an “all around champion” she was a champion in boxing. Not even a tad bit the same as an actual ALL around champion. Go back to poll smoking you fucking potato.
      Sincerely,
      This legit “all around” fan

      • LittleMo

        I didn’t snort anything and don’t need to be “high.” But I can say something beside “fuck” and make my point without wasting time typing all the names that would apply to you. Holly is a legit, belted champion in boxing who defended her title 18 TIMES in 3 weight classes and kick-boxing. Holly is the ONLY female fighter to hold a belt in both MMA and boxing. Ronda was a BRONZE medalist in judo in Beijing – and that’s it. She got her name by beating people who, no matter what they did to each other, were no kind of competition for her. Meisha lasted into a 3rd round but also lost 3 times and Zingano lost in seconds – like a few others. None of them could defend against the go-to arm bar but Holly did. Ronda’s stand-up game was awful. Her boxing looked like a rank amateur. If she as good as she claimed, she would not have been so thoroughly trounced by Holly.

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  • ZenMaster

    Dear Shayna,

    Please pass this message to yor friend. My name is irrelevant, all that matters is this:

    I had meningitis when I was 3 months old, and consequent brain paralysis. Though I always had the courage to overcome my limitations, with some success, the fact of the matter is that something was missing about my self-esteem, and the way that I was mocked and bullied, still, at 37.

    Though I am fortunate enough to have a beautiful, strong and wonderful wife and two marvellous daughters, I always doubted myself. I always seeked something that would make that “click” and turned me to the more I was aspiring to, it wasn’t until I read “My Fight, Your Fight” that it happened.

    Now I am thriving in my profession, I don’t take crap from people any more and I feel free from the judgement of others.

    For that, I will forever thank Ronda and her inspiring words. They literally changed my life and gave me the boost that I needed.

    I feel in my heart that many more people have stories like mine. To me she is an example, regardless of the winning count or a freaking belt.

    Ronda Rousey, you have opened the door to happiness and showed the way to millions of people.

    We will always stand with you. To us, you will always be a Champion.

    Thank you Ronda.

    Thank you Shayla.

  • emilyroseCOvet

    Sadly I read this too late to say myself what many beat me to saying. I echo every ounce of praise both to your amazing writing Shayna, & to Ronda.
    I admire the both of you very much.

    Shayna: Your loyalty & character have never been more evident to me. I’ve watched you fight for years before TUF. I’ve always admired your grit & sheer determination. You’ve never been a quitter outside inside the cage, that’s clear. I’ve not had the honor to meet you or know you outside of it, to know the “human” as you put it, vs the fighter on TV. This article is badass! You’re not “just defending your friend”, which on its own would be admirable… You’re speaking a truth with unapologetic courage, grace, & intelligence. Much love & respect Shayna! Thank you so much for this!

    To Ronda: I read your book & relate to you completely. I still struggle inner battles, going back to my first fire fight. Combat was something I never knew I would survive. You never know how strong you truly are, or what you’re really made of, until something comes along & forces you to find out. Some people are born when that happens, some people die (or are broken in result). It’s a switch that gets flipped, that some either have or don’t have. It’s that simple. YOU HAVE IT! It’s what you’re made of. Engage your switch, brush the dirt off, & decide what ass you’re ready to kick next! Do so knowing you’ve touched the lives & hearts of SO many. YOU truly have changed the world. No matter what you choose to do for the rest of your life, nothing takes away from or changes that & it never will.

    Everyone wishes they had your “Rowdy” so they hate you for it instead of finding or having their own. Pity them if you feel like being nice, otherwise laugh & shake your head…either way they’re getting more attention than they could ever deserve if you even give them a single thought. You’re loved, respected, & appreciated. Above all else, I hope you never forget. Give ’em hell Champ!

    #ANDSTILLaRondaRouseyFan
    @emilyrosecovet 🌹

  • SherlockWolf25

    Fantastic article Shayna! Ronda will always be remembered for who she is
    and what she’s done for WMMA. And whenever and wherever Ronda is
    mentioned, *Holly* will too! With her incredible victory over Ronda, Holly has become an intrinsic part of the history of WMMA that Ronda started. In fact, she is now a part of Ronda’s legacy. Wow! Isn’t it awesome how Ronda is paving the way
    for other women in MMA to achieve the greater recognition that they deserve? Fan-tas-tic! 😃

  • emilyroseCOvet

    I would just like to add how much absolute bullshit I think it is that everyone is dumping this much hate onto Ronda right now! It has nothing to do with the bullshit reasoning that Holly Holm is just so sweet & everyone’s mad because Ronda “talks shit”. That’s fucking ridiculous! Considering I have rarely seen a MALE fight that didn’t involve any confident bantering, or opponents who openly disrespect their opponents’ abilities &/or personally. Even when the undefeated ones lose, & even when all they’ve done is run their mouths…NEVER have I seen it be this polarizingly sensational! The memes, outright exaggerations, & straight HATE vomiting at the mouth right now is out of control!

    Anderson Silva talked MAD shit about Chris Wideman, yet even after losing twice, & in much greater of defeats BOTH times I might add… he still gets & is mutually treated with the respect he deserves. Chris Wideman isn’t being glorified as a damn Saint for not throwing him under the fucking bus either! Why does anyone find it acceptable for Ronda to be treated this way at all? Whether you like her or you don’t isn’t the point. The bias & outright double standard that MEN are allowed to be arrogant pricks, but if a WOMAN is confident & speaks her mind she’s a bitch or a bad person…is complete horseshit! As a woman, even if you can’t stand Ronda Rousey, this should fucking piss you off! Even in COMBAT sports, there’s still an unspoken demand that you either wear a fucking skirt & give a curtsy…or never EVER lose?!

    Having personal experience with these double standards on a daily basis has given me plenty of recognition to the fact that we have such a long way to go with this…Ronda, if you’re reading this, PLEASE keep coming…keep making these bitch asses eat their words! Dana would still be laughing at the thought of all of this if it weren’t for you. He was a start, long ways to go. Keep up the good fight! Much love & respect ❤️

    @emilyrosecovet 🌹

  • TWF2000

    I absolutely love Holly Holm and she deserves all the credit in the world for her preparation before the fight, her performance in the fight and her attitude after the fight. However, Shayna Baszler just wrote the best summary I have read following this fight. Mainly because she’s absolutely right. Those who want to bag on Ronda for losing are the people that I choose to ignore, because it’s pure ignorance.

    She lost. Everyone does. I know it’s the worst crime in the world to be arrogant in professional sports, but try to get over it. Try to look over it the same way you do guys who have killed dogs and beaten women. Rousey is the biggest female name in MMA history and I seriously doubt that will ever change, regardless of how good a champion Holm becomes.

  • Alden Pearce

    Ali was fundamentally, ridiculously sharp. More importantly, the tenure of his career was at a time in a sport when it was arguably at/near its peak; boxing was established.. Who did Ronda beat that was the Frazier/Foreman/Liston etc. of her time? Did she have an impact on the sport? Yes. The UFC had a need and used her to help grow the sport. Was/is she a good fighter? yes. She is not a legendary fighter. And, she’s fundamentally flawed and got exposed by someone with good defense and a solid stand up game. if you don’t agree, just watch the first few minutes of the fight. She keeps her head centered after taking punch after punch to the face… awesome.. and, her footwork is that of a teenager on a trampoline.. geeze. anyone that seriously compares her to Ali’s greatness is delusional. omg.. i get if you’re her friend and you want to stick up for her, but there are rational ways to do so without sounding like an idiot.

  • Julian Flor

    You know all of you people had nothing to say when she was winning. So now she loses once and out comes all the hate and cheap talk. All of you so called fans are truly pathetic. Ronda is womens MMA…if not for her there would be no holly holm or womens bantem weight division. We are all human and can break or lose what truly defines the heart of a warrior spirit is what we do when we cross that threshold and cant wait to see Ronda 2.0
    Until then Ronda thank you for all the amazing fights and inspiration you have given to the MMA world both female and male!!!
    Best Julian.F

  • disqus_RF7XwerGMQ

    Love this article! Much respect to shayna; I hope the industry finds a way to really commemorate and appreciate what you and the women you mentioned have accomplished. Other sports do things like jersey retirements, documentaries, HOF exhibits, awards and such. La rosa, u, Buckner, kedzie, modaferri, etc. carano gets love, but there’s a big piece of history that has yet to receive proper recognition. I think as the years pass, if WMMA continues to evolve and remain marketable, ppl will be much more inclined to educate themselves about this meaningful history.

  • srichey321

    I don’t like the “Rousey” persona that I’ve seen in the media — the trash talking and she makes it a bit too personal, but she has done a lot for WMMA — absolutely, no doubt about it. I grew up watching Ali fight — by the mid-seventies; he was universally loved. That happened after he got beat a few times, but came back and won the championship. Nobody could deny his heart or courage.

    I hope Ronda can do something similar. I really believe she did everything she could in that fight against Holm, but just doesn’t have the tools or a strategy she can implement yet.

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  • LaLa Lebow

    Hello Shayna,

    First I want to say as a fellow blogger, writer, and fellow Brazilian Jiu-jitsu enthusiast (ha-ha I’m a no stripe white belt of a few months doesn’t mean I’m not enthusiastic about it :p) I enjoyed reading this.

    People seem to forget every fighter is human. As a human we wake up with bad breath in the morning and on occasion eat a whole bag of chips. We all even have pieces of skin on our bodies that jiggle just a little. Sometimes we even act like proverbial @$$es. Last if we take a punch, or in this instance, a kick to the face we get knocked out and bleed.

    Somewhere along the line we, as viewers, forget this. We think we know you. We don’t. Honestly there are things I do and I say to myself, “DID YOU REALLY JUST DO THAT?” Ronda, yourself, and every other human being on this planet does stupid things, farts, cries, says words we don’t mean etc. This is being imperfect. You’re not perfect, Ronda’s not perfect, and I’m certainly not perfect.

    Want me to lie and say I cheered for Ronda the whole time? I won’t because I didn’t. I wanted Holly to win because, me, as a person always goes for the underdog. If the roles had been reversed I would have cheered for Ronda if she were the underdog. That’s one of my flaws I’m indecisive and gullible. Cheering for Holly and not for Ronda that fight does not mean I am not a fan. I am big Ronda fan. I’m a fan of anyone who steps into that ring. Sure I lean a little farther in one direction than the other and I get drawn in by the light of the media once in awhile. However as a person I’m honest and I will tell you how I feel.

    Ronda, I didn’t like your behaviour, I didn’t like the hype. I believed that you, for the moment had had your time with the belt. Holly came in and she beat you. I still at the end of the respect you and I am still a fan.

    The coolest thing that impressed me is you’re kind of a dork. You like Dragonball. That’s what sold me. All that not her stuff that was just icing on the cake. I believe you are a person and you had a moment and it’s past now. That moment doesn’t change who you are and what you did.

    As for all you turn coat wannabe commentators with you degrees in mma. Take a seat. She didn’t commit a murser. The woman isn’t on trial for forsakes. Next month if Holly Holms loses you’ll be ripping into her like pirahna on a fresh kill. Have some class please. The woman got beat and lost her championship. Anything you are saying is just pouring salt into a wound the is trying to close.

    You don’t know Ronda. Even if you’re an amateur fighter you don’t know. If you’re a Tibetan Monk who is the reincarnation of Ghandi you don’t know. EVEN if you’re a 7 time world champion so and so mma guru you still don’t know.

    I don’t know crap about technical should have, could have, would have. Because I watched it on television doesn’t mean I know and neither do you in all your great wisdom. So be at peace keyboard warriors.

    Ronda rest up and enjoy your holidays and when you come back know I’m rooting for you. I wrote my own blog about you in a letter maybe one day you’ll read maybe you won’t either it doesn’t matter you’re still awesome. Shayna thank you for a good read and good luck to you and your training.

    Laura M. Bowen

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