Ring around the Rousey
There's a few body parts we owe to ourselves to protect. Your face is one of them. So what's so great about pride that warrants getting our heads beat in for it?
We like to think of pride as our friend. And it is... The worst kind. There for us - at first - when we're down, embarrassed and beaten by life. Rallying us. Summoning our strength, testing our courage... our will to rise from the ashes. Until punch comes to shove and our ol' pal conveniently exits stage left. Ronda Rousey relied on pride to motivate her during her year long hiatus from competition. But the double-edged sword it is, pride not only fueled Rousey, it simultaneously shepherded her into a fight she didn't belong. It walked Ronda down the aisle, and as soon as Bruce Buffer bellowed, "Its Time," jilted her at the alter.
What I believe Buffer was insinuating was that it's time for defense. It's time for counter striking. Its time to rear-naked. What it's not time for is hubris. Among the skill sets necessary to succeed - to survive in that world, pride is just one of the expendables. Hence why it cometh before the fall.
Which for Rousey, cometh in 48 seconds.
For Rousey, doing things the same as she did with Holly Holm - the last opponent to leave her unconscious and expecting a different result wasn't crazy. It was her pride. Her approach on fight night was unimaginative, stale and benign. She was a punching bag - predictable and passe - with the mobility of a mob hit; sinking to the bottom of the Octagon from the concrete around her ankles.
But we all say this coming right? If you didn't just scroll through Rousey's social media campaign leading up to UFC 207. She wasn't exactly walking softly and carrying a big stick. Conversely, she took said stick...and poked the beast with it.
The return of what? The Living Dead? The Jedi? The Mack???
I scrambled my brain (much like Nunes did Rousey's) trying to think of who exactly was supposed to be afraid of the challenger's Instagram. It's hard to imagine a hashtag striking fear in the heart of anyone outside a millienial whose #tbt, #wcw, or #squadgoals selfie was at risk of being reported as innapropriate by a #hater
The main event mismatch was as lop-sided as the chicken vs the egg. Filled with the dramatic tension you'd imagine coming from the gall of an egg staring up at a foul.. fowl. "You wouldn't even be here if it wasn't for me coming first!" True, but the egg's shell is porcelain.
And Amanda Nunes is no chicken.
In fact, she's a lioness, earning the nickname, "La Leona," at the first gym she began practicing MMA. A gym with two lions on the logo outside, but one, inexorably, on the inside.
Going about her business quietly, methodically, tactically, As lions do. Living off instinct, they hunt, attack, and ultimately devour their prey. They DO NOT check Instagram. And they certainly don't fear the weak in the herd. That's not how the top of the food chain rolls.
They roll in a pride.
An entirely different kind than Rousey trained with.