Thursday, August 18, 2022

Helwani Presents Argument For The Most Overrated MMA Fighter Ever

MMA journalist Ariel Helwani has named which former champion and MMA superstar he believes could be considered the most overrated fighter of all time.

In mixed martial arts, a host of debates exists. From the overall and divisional GOAT arguments to the best at each discipline of the sport, fans and pundits are never left short of topics to go back and forth on.

During a recent episode of The MMA Hour, host Helwani was asked for his take on one less positive discussion: the most overrated fighter ever, and you’ll either be nodding in agreement or preparing your pitchforks at the answer…

“I think you could make a case for Ronda (Rousey) being the most overrated fighter,” Helwani said. “The level of competition wasn’t as great, and she didn’t end up being as good as people were saying at the time. Remember when we were talking about her versus Floyd (Mayweather)? Remember when we were talking about her being Mike Tyson? Come on.”

Ronda Rousey Overrated?

During her prime, Rousey, a former women’s judo professional and bronze medalist at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, was considered MMA’s biggest star. After transitioning to the cage in 2011 and building a 6-0 record, which included a title run in Strikeforce, “Rowdy” made her way to the Octagon, where she was promoted to women’s bantamweight champion.

In six wins on the MMA’s biggest stage, Rousey defeated the likes of Miesha Tate and Cat Zingano during a dominant run of defenses. With her stardom and talent at an all-time high, like Helwani said, some even pondered Rousey’s chances against boxing legend Floyd Mayweather.

As well as color commentator Joe Rogan and Jon Jones backing the then-UFC champ, the promotion’s president, Dana White, shared a similar sentiment during a 2014 appearance on ESPN Sports Nation.

“You put Ronda Rousey in any fight situation — a street fight, a mixed martial arts fight, not only does she beat Floyd, she’ll hurt Floyd really bad,” White said. (h/t Bleacher Report)

But after two emphatic losses to Holly Holm and Amanda Nunes, Rousey exited the sport, going on to dabble in professional wrestling, where she’s currently competing under the banner of WWE.

Though her reputation as one of the best remained strong, the immense growth of women’s MMA since has led many to slide Rousey down the pecking order of all-time female greats.

She has received support when it comes to her legacy in the cage from some, including Shayna Baszler and Valeria Loureda, who branded Rousey the MMA GOAT.

However, others have suggested that she was perhaps overhyped at the time, including former two-division titleholder Chael Sonnen. Current #4-ranked women’s strawweight Mackenzie Dern has even suggested that she expects to surpass Rousey in terms of her place in the record books.

Do you agree with Ariel Helwani? Is Ronda Rousey the most overrated fighter of all time?

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