The Ronda Rousey vs. Floyd Mayweather talk needs to stop
It’s been the most talked about fight for the past few months during any interview involving UFC president Dana White, UFC commentator Joe Rogan or a laundry list of fighters going through the media rounds.
No, I’m not talking about Jon Jones vs. Alexander Gustafsson 2 or Ronda Rousey vs. Gina Carano, although at least one of those names is involved.
Instead (and sadly) I’m talking about the mythical fight between Ronda Rousey and pound-for-pound boxing king Floyd Mayweather that has somehow saturated just about every interview, headline and forum post for the past several weeks. Where this idea started exactly I’m not sure, but here we are with this fight badgering us, in what has to be one of the most preposterous ‘who’d beat who’ scenarios in the history of combat sports.
White has gone on the record numerous times in dozens of interviews talking about how Rousey would manhandle Mayweather and toss him around like a sack of potatoes if they ever got into a real fight. Rogan backed him up by saying that Rousey would trounce Mayweather in an MMA fight. Even champions like Jon Jones joined the chorus both saying they believe Rousey would stomp Mayweather.
The problem with this entire hypothesis isn’t whether or not Rousey would beat Mayweather or Mayweather would beat Rousey — it’s the ridiculous notion that anyone should actually be giving this idea a second thought.
First let’s just address how petty it seems that everybody in MMA is piling onto this topic for no good reason. Of course part of it is our fault as reporters to drum up page views by asking this question of anybody on the other end of the phone line just waiting for someone to shout that Rousey would kill Mayweather and it wouldn’t even be close. Still, everybody is entitled to their opinion, but why even have an opinion on this topic?
Second, please notice how this subject seems to permeate the MMA landscape yet no one in boxing sees this as anything more than a blip on the radar. To my knowledge, Mayweather is focused on his next fight and doesn’t care (nor should he) to address this ludicrous story that he would get beat by Ronda Rousey. Sometimes it’s taking the high road that makes you look like the bigger person, and in this case Mayweather appears to be the professional. Plus, putting all the cards on the table, is Mayweather really supposed to answer this question, which ultimately ends with him saying that he would beat a woman? Professional fighter or not, Ronda Rousey is still a woman and there’s no way for Mayweather to tactfully dance around this question and answer without somehow coming away looking bad.
So now you’ve backed one of the ‘participants’ into a corner where he couldn’t even give a response if he wanted to answer.
Finally and maybe the most important tenant of this entire rant — women’s MMA has been growing leaps and bounds over the last couple of years. Rousey’s star is on the rise. She’s just over two months away from her third title defense in the span of seven months while also filming a part in the new ‘Entourage’ movie and an upcoming role that’s about to hit theaters in ‘The Expendables 3’. While Rousey captains the ship, the excitement about the new season of "The Ultimate Fighter 20" is at a fever pitch with 16 women’s fighters all entering the Octagon for the first time with a title up for grabs at the end of the show. Even the enthusiasm surrounding a return to the cage for the original face of women’s MMA, Gina Carano, is nothing but good for the sport and for the hype surrounding the UFC.
Meanwhile, the chatter about this hypothetical Rousey vs. Mayweather fight does nothing to further the sport, much less build anticipation for her next fight against Alexis Davis in July. Davis is a top three ranked bantamweight fighter, but she’s never been much of a talker or hype machine prior to her bouts. So why not take this valuable airtime whenever it’s granted to say "Floyd Mayweather is a boxer, but Alexis Davis is a top-ranked women’s fighter and she really could beat Ronda Rousey and she has a chance to do it on July 5 at UFC 175." Sure it’s not the flashy sound bite some paparazzi style reporters are looking for, but at the end of the day, the promotion of the UFC should be about the fighters in the UFC.
No matter how much we all talk about it, banter about and debate this subject, the truth of the matter is it’s never going to happen so it shouldn’t eat up anymore of our time. There’s always a place for fun topics like who would have won — Cain Velasquez or Fedor Emelianenko? Or Chuck Liddell vs. Jon Jones? But Rousey vs. Mayweather? That fight has no relevancy now or later.
You know how you cringe every time an interviewer slyly asks Rousey about her stance on sex before a fight just to snicker like a 13-year old boy when she gives her answer? The next time Rousey vs. Mayweather is brought up it should make you feel the same way because you already know the answer, the fight is never going to happen, they don’t compete in the same sport, so just let it die and get buried in the backyard with all the other bad MMA ideas.
Like YAMMA Pit Fighting — let’s just pretend it never happened and maybe it will go away.