Commentary

Can Rousey be MMA's poster child?

Originally Published: August 20, 2012
By Josh Gross | ESPN.com

When Ronda Rousey beat Meisha Tate in March, I was so taken with her performance that I suggested she could end up on pound-for-pound lists alongside the men of MMA. Well, after another stellar effort I see no reason to back away from that.

Do you?

This is a special fighter, a terrific athlete, someone with all the intangibles. She's super-competitive. She's mean. She's honest and cocky and everything great fighters should be.

After the Tate fight, I wrote that Rousey is living a Jon Jones situation: "atop the world with a ton of room to improve." That still rings true -- a scary proposition for other women out there. Rousey's competitors need to find an answer for her intensity, her combination of power and speed, and, perhaps most pressing, her ability to dictate the course of action in a fight. Rousey will sit back and relax for no one. She's no counter fighter, but she's also not reckless.

While on some level it feels foolish and premature to gush over a mixed martial artist with only six fights to her name, I'll admit that she does her job so impressively it's difficult to contain myself. She needs help from other women and help from her promoter. If she gets it, Rousey is on course to becoming one of the most recognizable figures in MMA.