WWE star and friend Shayna Baszler recently came to the defense of Ronda Rousey against those who critique her legacy in mixed martial arts (MMA).
Baszler was recently a guest on Ryan Satin’s “Out Of Character” podcast and discussed the criticisms Rousey has faced over the years. More so after suffering her first and only losses of her MMA career in 2015 and 2016.
Rousey was first defeated by Holly Holm in 2015, dropping the bantamweight title to the former boxer. She then returned to face the then-title holder Amanda Nunes, who quickly finished Rousey in the first round via TKO.
It was the last fight of Rousey’s MMA career, and she has since gone on to compete in WWE, where she currently reigns as SmackDown women’s champion. Although not having fought since her loss to Nunes, Rousey hasn’t closed the door completely on fighting.
However, many came down on Rousey hard over how she handled the losses, something Baszler takes issue with.
“Here’s the thing, I know Ronda enough to know that she does not spend her time on social media. Anytime she comments is because someone has said, ‘Hey, Ronda, you should comment on this,’ which isn’t often because she’ll still be like, ‘Why? Who cares?’ I get frustrated when it’s a little more selfish than that, I get frustrated if I ever were to speak out. If someone were to say something like, ‘Name the top three women’s fighters of all time.’ If I put Ronda in that list, immediately, they’re like, ‘Nope, she got exposed.’”
“Even now, it’s bothering me in a hypothetical. Just because she lost and you didn’t like her personality, you’re letting it cloud the fact that she changed women’s fighting. There would not be women in the UFC, at least not for a while, if it wasn’t for her.”
“To deny that she did great things, to discredit her just because she had a loss and you didn’t like her personality, I feel like if she had lost and then came on a podcast and been like, ‘I lost,’ and been super humble and not Ronda, not herself, people would say she’s the greatest ever, but because she lost and took it to heart and hated it, people hate her, so they have to discredit everything about it.”
“That’s annoying to me. I can say that I might not enjoy that Amanda Nunes beat Ronda and talked smack about her after, but I can say that Amanda Nunes is one of the best women’s fighters of all time. I can do that. It bothers me that regular fans can’t do that.”
Baszler also competed in MMA under the UFC banner. She ended her career with a record of 15-11 on a four-fight losing skid. Baszler then made the jump to professional wrestling, signing with WWE in 2017.
What do you think about the criticism Ronda Rousey has received in regards to her MMA legacy as of late? Let us know in the comments section below!
Quotes via GiveMeSport