UFC 193 saw overwhelming favorite Ronda Rousey suffer a devastating knockout at the hands of bantamweight challenger, Holly Holm. Not only was this extremely unexpected, it allowed many daily fantasy MMA fans to clean up in their tournaments, simply by going against the grain on the biggest fight of the night. Additionally, many sports books have announced that they are seeing losses on the fight just because the payout for a Holm victory was so high.
After the fight, Rousey was taken to the hospital for examination. Her lip had been split open, and it was determined that she would need stitches. Also, it is a common practice to have a medical exam after some fights just to make sure that the fighter is okay. This does not happen for every fight in the UFC, so there was concern about her wellbeing. Dana White, President of the UFC, has stated that as far as he has been told, Rousey is okay other than some stitches. Still, having Rousey not standing over her competition celebrating is a side of her that UFC fans have never seen before. Concern is an understandable emotion.
Her next steps are not clear. Rousey went from undefeated and undisputedly the best women’s fighter out there, to 12-1. Holm, a former boxer, was dominant over Rousey, landing far more strikes and was just plain faster on her feet. The finishing sequence of the fight began after Rousey regained her footing and a kick was delivered to her head. She went down near the end of the second round, and Holm was declared the victor. She’s now the new UFC women’s bantamweight champion. When asked if she would be willing to give Rousey a rematch, she declared that she definitely deserved another chance at the title. Whether or not this will happen, and how soon it will be if it does, has not yet been openly discussed.
Rousey has said publicly that she doesn’t want to keep fighting into her 30s. And at age 28, it’s likely that she’s already put some thought into the end of her fighting career. She has already shown a talent as an actress, and a second career in this industry might be something that she’s considering. None of this is really known to the public yet, so this is just speculation still. However, there has been evidence that she might be considering these things, and a loss might accelerate the process.
The opposite might also be true. Now that Rousey has seen that she can be beaten, there’s a chance that she will push her career into a second stage. A Holm rematch would be huge for the sport of mixed martial arts, and Rousey’s attempt to reclaim her title would bring a ton of money into the UFC. President Dana White has been a vocal supporter of Rousey, and will likely do what he can to keep her active. Again, it’s really not clear how the rest of her career will play out, but it’s certain that she will go down in history as one of the best fighters regardless of what happens.
Going forward, it’s very likely that daily fantasy sports sites will devalue Rousey in any subsequent fights she is in. If this was a fluke, and Rousey is still the best female fighter there is, this is a good thing. It means you will be able to get a superior fighter at a discount. Sports books will do something similar, slightly elevating her payout for a victory. No one wants to lose a fight, but from a fantasy perspective, this is a good thing for her fans over the long run.