Opinion: Ronda Rousey Goes After Cyborg Again
By Jesse Heitz
UFC Women’s Bantamweight Division Champion, Ronda Rousey, has found her way back into the headlines again. However, this time she’s not drawing cheers, but rather a chorus of jeers. People from all different walks, many not even coming out of the MMA world, are weighing in and the consensus isn’t favorable to the champ.
In a recent interview with Yahoo Sports’ Kevin Iole, Rousey took aim at Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino. In and of itself this isn’t something worth getting one’s dander up about. Yet many are calling for an apology from Rousey. Posted below are some of Rousey’s comments in the Iole interview.
“I’ve said before, I don’t care if she’s injecting horse semen into her eyeballs, I’ll fight her, but that’s just my personal decision. But I can’t make a decision for the whole division. I can’t say it’s the right thing. This girl has been on steroids for so long and [has been] injecting herself for so long that she’s not even a woman anymore. She’s an ‘it.’ It’s not good for the women’s division. It’s not good at all.”
“If she comes in the UFC and I beat the [expletive] out of her and then I retire and become an action movie star, then the UFC is still going to be stuck with her. The division could die. She could ruin the whole sport. Even though it’s a fight a lot of people want to see, even if I beat the living crap out of her, it won’t be good for the sport because then she’d still be in the UFC.”
“I’d be honored to fight a competitor like Gina, who is an example of what real respect and honor is in the cage. I really think with Cyborg taking all of those steroids and hormones and then going into the cage, it’s like going in with a weapon. It’s certainly very negligent, but it’s also criminal. I believe, it really is. Promoting her would be promoting that act and I think it would be wrong in every way.”
I get it, I truly do. There’s definitely a rivalry here, and these two top-tier female fighters are on a certain collision course. Fighters are often known to trash talk one another. Heck, some of the most popular and dare I say highest earning fighters in the game are masters of trash talk.
With that in mind, Rousey did step over the line in her remarks. I definitely understand the benefits of selling a fight, as I’m sure promoters do as well. Yet, there’s a huge difference in selling a fight and going off on an expletive-laced tangent, personally attacking a fellow fighter.
This is a pet peeve of mine. I certainly understand a fighter’s disdain for colleagues who use performance enhancing drugs, I share in their distaste for it. To be sure, there’s nothing wrong with criticizing its usage. However, you absolutely cannot rave about one potential adversary and how they exemplify honor and respect, making it abundantly clear that you believe yourself to be among that type of person, and then turn around and launch a venomous tirade against another human being, particularly one that hasn’t wronged you.
There’s no respect in that, no honor to be found. Believe me, I’m no fan of any steroid user, but I also believe people can change. In short, as a fan I expect better from a professional, much less a champion.