How can a loser ever win? That is a line from The Bee Gees 1970’s hit tune, “How Can You Mend A Broken Heart.” It seems both those questions are being answered in real time with the promo for Ronda Rousey’s return to MMA with an upcoming fight against Charlotte Flair in a WWE format.
For those who have vague memories of a successful Rousey, you will have to go back a few years to 2015. That year, on August 1st, she dispatched Bethe Correia in a snappy 34 seconds. She was seen as being invincible and was tagged as the best woman MMA fighter on the planet. She got dropped by Holly Holm 3 months later in just under a minute, then 13 months later (lucky 13?) she lost to Amanda Nunes is 47 seconds.
Rousey, newly married and apparently highly confident, returns to the MMA arena looking to climb back up the mountain and regain her previous bravado. Apparently, the best road to do that on is to restore her reputation as a winner, something she has failed to do since her loss to Holm. One argument is that she has not even really tried, that her psyche is shot and falls way short of the confidence needed to return as a consistent winner.
One thing she may have working in her favor is her recent marriage to Travis Browne, himself an MMA fighter who is ranked 14th in the UFC. Not only can a new life create new hope, but she has a sparring partner who she can actually relate to. It is likely he has shown her some of his personal moves that can actually help her in her upcoming fight.
Regardless of the outcome, her ego will be smoothed over because of the interest in the fight that will be converted into dollars. It has been more than two years since she stood victorious, competing only once since then and has reached the age of 30. The WWE is more about wrestling, and while there are those who believe making the transition should be no problem for Rousey, she has little training or experience in that area. Which is another reason an upcoming fight will draw a lot of attention.
Despite her fall from MMA (and UFC) grace, she is still one of the most popular and recognizable women athletes in the world. And there is another perspective to take on this WWE venture, which is that Americans love to see their favorite stars recover from being knocked off their perch. There is something about seeing the mighty fall and pick themselves up again that people are willing to pay money for. The ratings of the Rousey-Flair fight will be closely watched by the WWE to see if Rousey can create a new buzz in the woman’s division of the WWE as it has suffered a loss of interest by fans recently.
Whatever the result of the fight, she will manage to come out on top and show that a loser can win.