Andrew Touhy, Account Executive
In Sunday’s highly anticipated UFC bantamweight title fight, one that saw Ronda Rousey boast about her sure victory over opponent Holly Holm before the fight, Rousey was knocked unconscious in the second round, shocking viewers world wide.
ESPN said, “Former world boxing champion Holly Holm (10-0) scored the biggest upset in the sport’s history Sunday, knocking out Rousey (12-1) with a left head kick in the second round to claim the bantamweight championship fight at UFC 193 at Etihad Stadium.”
Rousey’s loss comes as a shock in part because she was undefeated to this point, but also because of her not-so-humble opinion of herself. After winning the ESPY for ‘Best Fighter,’ an award for which Floyd Mayweather was also a nominee, Rousey went on record saying,
“Floyd is one of the best boxers of all time. He would definitely beat me in a boxing match. I unfortunately don’t get into ‘matches.’ I fight for a living. In a no-rules fight, I believe I can beat anyone on this planet. Boxing is a sweet science with strict rules that I respect very much and aspire every day to improve at. But you said ruleless fight, and that’s my honest answer.”
If Ronda Rousey were our client, we would advise that she face the music, as it would be best for her career and public image. It would have spoken volumes to her character and resilience had she confronted her loss head on, and looked forward to her next fight.
Instead, as TMZ reported yesterday, Rousey took every measure possible to hide her bruised face from reporters as she made her way through the Los Angeles International Airport. It is one thing to lose a title match, but quite another to lose in the fashion she did after proclaiming herself the best fighter in the world and guaranteeing a victory.
This type of defeat is a sure fire way to create a media frenzy, one that does not need additional fuel. Cowering from the media further solidified that she was not only physically bruised, but emotionally and mentally as well.
Hiding from the media at LAX only clouded and tarnished the reputation she has perpetuated thus far as being the best fighter in the world, and drives sports fans to root against her. What her team must understand, is that no one feels bad for a sore loser, especially one as brash as Rousey.
As we counsel with our clients, Rousey should have considered the chance of defeat, or at least those around her should have. While we would never instill negative thoughts in the mind of an athlete, no victory is guaranteed. Those driving her public image should have been prepared to address the fallout if she did in fact, lose.
As her advisors, we would have done our due diligence to understand the media climate surrounding this showdown, and anticipated the negative attention that would come with a Rousey loss. To better manage her reputation going forward, Rousey should do her best to keep her eyes forward and chin up; oh, and practicing humility will also help.