Before Saturday night’s bout with Holly Holm at UFC 193, Ronda Rousey talked to Rolling Stone about her desire to “disappear” for a while after the fight in order to make a movie or two. If all went well, Rousey said, she wouldn’t enter the octagon again until UFC 200 on July 9 in Las Vegas.
And then things didn’t go all that well, with Holm knocking out the previously unbeaten Rousey in the second round.
But was Rousey’s “disappearance” in the cards all along? That’s what former pro wrestler Taz said on his CBS Radio show: That the Rousey-Holm fight was the UFC equivalent of a “work,” or a match whose outcome is preordained in order to best serve the organization.
“Why are some people not seeing this?” Taz asked. “This has been done in the wrestling industry for years. A guy or girl is going to take a break or go away, or has an injury that they have to tend to, whatever the reasons are, and they’re a champion – you take the championship off of them. You do not want your champion sitting home or making a movie, ‘Roadhouse 2’ or whatever Rousey’s going to do, or whatever Rousey’s going to do, or just needs a personal break, which she’s earned. This girl’s earned it. But you don’t want that person sitting home for five, six, seven months with that championship. IT’S BAD FOR BUSINESS! TAKE THE BELT OFF HER!”
Here’s the end of the fight, followed by Taz’s explanation of how this was all part of the plan.
“If you look at the actual K.O. – now, she did get nailed, Rousey, with several shots before the finish of the fight. Nothing that was like ‘oh my god,’ but she got popped a few times. But if you look at the actual knockout, as Rousey, she went for kind of a lazy punch or something – not lazy but she kind of missed – and as she spun to turn around her back was kind of turned to Holm. And as she slowly turned, a high round kick, I believe it was the left foot, or left leg of Holm, catches Rousey, drops Rousey, and then Holm grounds and pounds for three shots – boom, boom, boom. Ref gets in the middle, fight’s over, new champion Holly Holm.
“I’m telling you right now, that whole series, was the work. And I’m not sure who was in on it and who wasn’t but I know this much: the ref probably wasn’t in on it. Maybe he was I don’t know. Rousey was in on it – and again, this is all my opinion. Holm might not have been in on it.”
In any case, Rousey is now unencumbered by a title belt and is free to make movies or fight again or appear at award shows. For whatever reason, chief among them that she got knocked the heck out.
More on Rousey-Holm: