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Why Ronda is correct to be worried about public perception post-TUF

That didn't take long... only two episodes in and I already see why she's feeling uneasy.

Many people who love combat sports like nothing more than to see an upset. When they occur, it's easy to see why. Especially when given a situation like tonight's match up on TUF. As Shayna Baszler gave a masterclass in overconfidence and looking past her opponent, seemingly attempting everything possible to get the audience rooting against her, chirping right alongside her was Ronda.

Initially I waited to see if this was simply strategy, a coach playing along with the preferred method of 'ramping' of her particular pupil. Even so, hearing Ronda say that Julianna didn't deserve to breathe the same air as Shayna was, for lack of better term, troubling. As basically The ambassador for women's MMA, to so openly belittle an up and coming female fighter attempting to make it to the UFC for simply not having the same skill set on paper as the #8 ranked female fighter in the world was confusing at best, and shameful at worst.

So when the fight was competitive and Julianna Pena pulled off what basically everyone thought was impossible, the stage was set for Ronda to follow in the footsteps of some of the great coaches of TUF's past. It was the cue to take her ego out of the equation, admit her error in judgment and encourage both young fighters to keep going. I have to think she knows that regardless of the outcome and whoever wins this season, it's good for women's MMA. Instead she displayed something more akin to the petulant reaction of a child not getting what they want for their birthday.

She looked at Miesha being happy for her fighter, as her fighter pulled off a truly surprising upset, yet in her eyes what she saw was Miesha 'laughing at Shayna's pain'. I've never read one, but I'd wager Junior high school diaries rarely get that melodramatic. For someone who was so vocally disrespectful, and encouraged her fighter to be disrespectful of her opponent, that's quite a lot of moral outrage to summon at this perceived slight, yet I can't help but wonder how she would've reacted to Shayna doing what was expected.

Based on her behaviour in tonight's episode I can only think she'd do exactly what it is she's angry at Miesha for supposedly doing.

I've never been a big Miesha fan, and I am most definitely not a Bryan Caraway fan. However with Ronda alternating between teary-eyed hysterics and childish behaviour on the other side, it's pretty clear right now which fighter is better suited to coaching. More importantly, Ronda's worries about how we perceive her after this season are looking very well founded, as it's also clear who is better suited to having a more thorough glimpse of their personality on display for all to see.

Ronda is an incredible talent, with an amazing list of accomplishments. I don't think any right minded person would deny this... but I certainly know which upset I want to see happen next.

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