As I blogged previously, UFC mma champion “Rowdy” Ronda Rousey is a dedicated fighter who eats the same thing nearly every morning: a breakfast of champions that includes two tablespoons of hemp seeds. Rousey’s dedication continues beyond her breakfast routine into her training and the lack of distractions she allows to interfere with her goals in life. Rowdy would like to retire undefeated and presumably continue onto a career in Hollywood and even publishing more books. I wouldn’t be surprised if she opens up her own gym someday to pass on lessons she has learned from her judo-champion mother and stable of coaches. Now that the UFC’s women’s bantamweight has dispatched 12 challengers that have failed to go the distance with her, it is time to consider the fact that Ronda Rousey, fueled by hemp seeds, may be the greatest mma fighter in history.
Kevin Iole, writing for Yahoo Sports, agrees that it is time that Rousey join the discussion along with heavyweight great Fedor “The Last Emperor” Emelianenko, Jon “Bones” Jones and Anderson “The Spider” Silva:
When you assess Rousey against the greatest who’ve ever lived in her sport, she is more than competitive by just about any measure.
She’s probably the best grappler and the best athlete. Her striking isn’t as good as her grappling, but Silva’s grappling, for example, wasn’t nearly as good as his striking.
Since she’s in the middle of her dominance, it’s best to assess her against the most dominant eras of Emelianenko, Silva and Jones in their prime. Again, she comes out favorably by comparison.
Iole notes that gender and the lack of elite competition are the only two knocks on Rousey’s claim to greatest of all time status. I would argue that her gender and competition are two things out of her control, she can only do her best against the competition put in front of her. Lack of elite competition also plagued the young Mike Tyson who lacked the same caliber of challengers that a young Muhammad Ali faced. However, it isn’t like the non-elite competition has challenged Rousey at all, with her last three challengers unable to last 35 seconds in the Octagon with her. 35 seconds! Of course, she can’t help that she was born a woman, but she trains against men and there is plenty of evidence that she more than holds her own against men similar in size to her and UFC interim featherweight champion Conor McGregor stated that Rousey “would throw me on my head in one second flat.”
I do think that UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman, who defeated Anderson Silva twice, may have a claim to rival Rousey’s if he manages to stay undefeated as well, but Rousey definitely deserves consideration as the GOAT. And yes, I may be admittedly a little biased because Rousey has publicly stated that she eats hemp seeds nearly every morning and she lambasted UFC fighter Bryan Caraway for insulting fellow fighter Pat Healy when Healy lost his fight bonuses after testing positive for THC metabolites. However, despite my biases, if Ronda Rousey keeps dispatching challengers like she did contender Bethe Correia, Rousey will have to go down as the greatest fighter of all time, regardless of her competition or gender.