In America, it’s commonplace to see fans and media help build fame for celebrities only to cheer on their eventual demise. Ronda Rousey is, perhaps, one of the most applicable examples of this phenomenon in recent memory as her fall from grace has been well documented over the past year.
Rewind back to August 1st of 2015 where Rousey easily dispatched of Bethe Correia in 34 seconds at UFC 190. On that day, it would have been hard to argue the fact that Rousey was the most recognizable athlete in the world. She appeared alongside Sylvester Stallone, Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger in the third “Expendables” film, she was featured on an endless stream of late-night talk shows and even stared down Triple H and Stephanie McMahon along with The Rock at WrestleMania 31. She even attended a Marine Corps ball with a perfect stranger that asked her out online. She was as dominant as anyone we had ever seen in the octagon, a complete master of her craft of judo.
Just over two months later the hype train began to derail when Rousey was stunned by Holly Holm with a 2nd round knockout that was heard around the world. The previously unstoppable hero had shown chinks in her previously untarnished suit of armor. In an emotional interview with Ellen DeGeneres, Ronda revealed that she considered suicide following the loss to Holm.
After more than a year away from the UFC, Rousey returned at UFC 207, this time to fight Amanda Nunez. We all wanted Ronda to be “back.” We watched the pay-per-view with the unwavering anticipation that she would return to glory like Rocky Balboa avenging his loss to Clubber Lang in “Rocky III.” 48 seconds later, after Nunez had completely overwhelmed Rousey with one calculated punch after another, it was all over. People took to social media to proclaim that Ronda was done, her career is now in shambles following a second straight loss. We felt cheated. When our dream of her glorious return crumbled, we had no choice but to tear her down because that’s what we do.
Sometimes it is hard for the average person to consider the amount of pressure that comes with being a superstar like Rousey. The fight game is a perilous one indeed. Once you have lost the edge and tenacity that helped propel you to the top, it’s extremely rare to ever get it back.
Perhaps she was not in the right mental state to attempt this return after having suicidal thoughts after the loss to Holm just over a year ago. It is now unlikely that she will ever attain the heroic status that she once had, instead, she has become another star that has been chewed up and spit out by the very hype machine that helped create her.