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Morning Report: Miesha Tate on Ronda Rousey: ‘I don’t think she’s entirely happy with her legacy’

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Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Over the last few years, Ronda Rousey has cut a controversial figure in MMA. After rising to the top of the sport and garnering a then unrivaled amount of fame, Rousey’s abrasive demeanor began rubbing people the wrong way and following her loss to Holly Holm as self-imposed media blackout, public sentiment starting turning against her. Rousey hasn’t done much to dissuade this shift either, recently going so far as to say that fans don’t deserve to hear her feelings on her own legacy in MMA.

It was yet another instance of Rousey pushing fans away, but for Rousey’s most notorious rival, Miesha Tate, it also revealed a deeper underlying truth: that Ronda is not happy with her MMA legacy.

“It’s very Ronda-esque,” Miesha Tate said on SiriusXM recently. “Look, she’s not wrong even though it’s a bit arrogant, but that’s the style that people have appreciated about Ronda. It’s not necessarily something I appreciate about Ronda, but when you talk about her legacy this does sum it up in one quote, really. It’s that she knows she has value and interest but she also doesn’t really give a sh*t what anybody else wants to hear.

“She’s not entirely an open book. She’s not there entirely for the fans, selflessly. Ronda has always been about Ronda so it doesn’t surprise me. She’s continuing to be exactly how she’s always been. Again, not wrong, but when I listen to this, she almost sounds emotional. I don’t think she’s entirely happy with her legacy. The point that Ronda makes about us not deserving to hear it and about the vulnerability, I think that it speaks again to point that she left the sport worse than she entered it.”

By many metrics, Rousey is the most successful female fighter in UFC history. She’s is essentially the reason Dana White adopted women’s divisions into the sport, holds the record for female title defenses, and is the first woman to be inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame. Her legacy should be beyond reproach but the way she exited the sport left many with a bad taste in their mouth. After getting knocked out by Holly Holm to lose her title, she then retreated into seclusion for a year until she challenged Amanda Nunes, getting stopped even faster. Neither losses were handled with grace and Tate says that all comes down to Rousey’s ego, which is still preventing her from opening up to fans, several years removed from those defeats.

“She has that inflated ego, she does have all of those things,” Tate continued. “I talk about myself and we’re polar opposites, that’s why we never really got along. I started my career off a loss. I started my career with the humble approach, so I’m a very open book. I’ve got nothing to hide. I win some, I’ve lost some, I don’t have the need to put myself on a pedestal or not be an open book. I enjoy being transparent because I hope that somebody can take something away from my gains and my losses. I’ve lost horribly in front of the entire world and so did Ronda.

“She has a chance here to open up and to give some insight and perspective and motivation but she’s obviously not at that point where she feels good enough about her own legacy to be vulnerable and to reflect and give back. She’s obviously not in a good place with it. That’s my takeaway when I see this, that she’s not prepared to be vulnerable in front of us.”

There’s also the possibility that Ronda is just living the kayfabe lifestyle. Following her departure from MMA, Rousey began competing in the WWE, becoming a WWE superstar and winning a title over there, with an attitude similar to the one she had in MMA. But Tate doesn’t think this is all a work. The former UFC bantamweight champion believes this is just who Ronda is, and that she’d prefer if things could go back to when she was the baddest woman on the planet.

“She wants to be the hard Ronda Rousey, the one that was back in 2014,” Tate concluded. “I always said winning is easy. You don’t have to make any adjustments. You don’t have to make any changes. You’re on the top of the world, you’re doing great. When you lose, that’s when you see what you’re really made of.”


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