UFC Production Team Puts Company in a Catch-22 Situation with Ronda Rousey
Ronda Rousey is on top of the UFC right now. After becoming the first ever UFC Women's Banthamweight Champion in December 2012, the UFC has been capitalizing on her success.
Rousey has been all over the UFC, with a 4-0 record, and is 10-0 all-time in her career. Her success has launched her into movie roles with The Expendables 3, and The Fast & Furious 7 as well.
After her last fight this past Saturday, a 16 second knockout win over Alexis Davis at UFC 175, a member of the production team had Joe Rogan ask her if she would consider taking another fight in three weeks to help cover the void left at UFC 176. UFC 176 was to be headlined by José Aldo vs. Chad Mendes for the UFC Featherweight Championship. With no main event, the UFC production team pushed for a quick Rousey fight.
"If they needed me to step up, I would do it." - Ronda Rousey Post Fight.
Enter the catch-22 of the entire situation. Rousey planned knee surgery to take care of a lagging issue. On top of that, it would also be used for Rousey to take a little break after running 100mph for the past couple of years. However, if the UFC NEEDS her, she is still willing to put off surgery and fight in three weeks.
Let's say she decides to do so. She could be risking even more damage to her knee, plus she received stitches on her knuckles that might would make it difficult to train over two weeks for the next fight. On top of it all, the UFC would be nearly running one of their biggest stars directly into the ground.
On the flip side, if Rousey participates in the event it will mean much higher Pay-Per-View numbers and more revenue for the company. Short term gain, for a potential long-term loss.
UFC President Dana White was very upset at his production team for putting the company in this situation following the event.
"It was the biggest idiotic move in the history of our production team (to ask her to fight again in three weeks)" - UFC President Dana White
White has criticized members of his roster before for not "helping out the crew" by taking fights, and it wouldn't be a surprise for him to ask Rousey to take another fight, but his best option would be to take the hit on UFC 176 to ensure that Rousey will be available for many more events to come.
The fans might not like the current overall card for UFC 176, but it does feature Shayna Baszler of Sioux Falls for us locally, and it will probably show with a decrease in PPV revenue this time around. However, even if one person buys the show it will be more of a success than UFC 151 in which the UFC cancelled because of Jon Jones not accepting a fight with Chael Sonnen.
Fault of the lack of card for UFC 176 should not fall on Rousey for not taking a fight in three weeks if she denies. That fault should be on the UFC for not having a decent undercard with a fight that can take top billing. For fans, it might not be a "great" lineup but don't be upset with Rousey, be upset at UFC. The situation they are in is a no-win short term, but if they want to continue to have a superstar for years to come they shouldn't move forward with Rousey fighting.