Commentary

Maynard's skid; Rousey's TUF act

Originally Published: December 2, 2013
By Josh Gross | ESPN.com

Yet another season of "The Ultimate Fighter" came to a close Saturday, and the show's biggest personality, Ronda Rousey, made it clear that she would have preferred to be somewhere else.

Anywhere, it seemed. So how's that supposed to make the rest of us feel?

Rousey was going to join with Miesha Tate in saving the UFC's reality show franchise. I don't know if she did do that. TUF continues with Frankie Edgar and BJ Penn, with Chael Sonnen and Wanderlei Silva in Brazil, and with country-versus-country series such as the upcoming "TUF Nations: Canada versus Australia."

While we can agree that TUF's value as a promotional vehicle and an arbiter of talent for the UFC isn't as important as it once was, it has maintained its influence. Just look at how much Rousey's image took a hit after TUF 18 came and went.

For some it seemed like this was simply a case of Rousey being Rousey -- pit-bull passion and an uber-competitive mean streak.

For the majority, however, Rousey came off aloof. Immature. Scared. Other pejorative terms.

Good or bad, the show produced a response among the people who watched. Rousey will have to deal with it, as well as the questions that fall in line with a new narrative that makes her out to be less than gracious, less than professional, more a crybaby, more annoying.

As I said on Twitter on Saturday night, TUF may not have been good for Rousey's image. She doesn't care. That's fine. All that matters is she keeps winning. There's immense pressure to do that, which makes the whole situation around Rousey very compelling.

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