The Failure of Ronda Rousey in UFC 207: An Analysis

Image credit: Vinicius Amano |

The failure of Ronda Rousey is trending today on social media conversation. Thousands of comments were posted on Twitter and Facebook within minutes. Comments are varied. Some were happy on the win of her opponent, but of course some had shown their sympathy.

Indeed the defeat of Ronda Rousey is devastating not only to her career but also to her honor as an athlete. But the problem of most spectators is that they only focus on the negative side of failure. They seem to degrade Rousey like she never won the competition before. I’m not an MMA fun, neither Ronda Rousey nor Amanda Nunes. But it is worth reminding the world that Ronda is a superstar – that she ruled the octagon several times.

The negative comments following the loss of Ronda Rousey are not caused by the defeat itself but by the societal norms. Negative perceptions are, unknowingly, emanate from the existing belief that failure is bad. This kind of thinking makes most people hate defeat of any form. Because no one wants to fail, almost no one wants to take risks.

Our society worships success. This creates an illusion that failure in any endeavor is frustrating. Well, it is – indeed. But societal norms are misleading.


Because they only teach us the following:

1. Failure is undesirable

One of the reasons why most people hate failure is because our societal norm trains us to think that losing in a competition is bad. This thinking pattern is what we inherit throughout the course or our psychological and moral developments. Because losing is bad, everyone thinks that a loser is somebody who is weak and does not deserve appreciation.

2. Failure is weakness

The other problem is, our society is teaching us that failure means weakness. A loser is seen as a weak while the winner is the strong one. As a result, the winner is thought to be the “exceptional” the “extraordinary”, etc.

The expression “Do Not Fail” is the perfect reflection of fear. No one wants to fail – everyone is afraid of losing. But the truth is, this thinking pattern is problematic. Failure is not bad, negative or undesirable. The only thing that is negative is our way of thinking.

What does failure of Ronda Rousey mean?

The defeat of Ronda Rousey would mean several things.

First, the defeat itself signals that her opponent is better than her. This is the most basic explanation of failure in any competition. If somebody wins, then may be, he/she outperformed the competitor.

Second, Ronda might have committed mistakes during the bout. In most cases, failure in any sports is a result of mistakes. Unfortunately, this article will not tackle the technicalities of the fight.

On the other side of the coin, the defeat of this great champion echoes the reality of sports – and of real life. No one wins all the time. If you go around the world to find a perfect champion – someone who never loses a game, you end up wasting your time. Because no great athlete, leader or individual who never failed.

If we go back history either in sports, in politics or any competition, great champions made great failures. But failures made those great people successful. Therefore, failure is helpful rather than detrimental. It is a mistake to make one sided evaluations on someone’s shortcomings. Focusing on side of the coin makes us commit an attribution error; a judgment process wherein we tend to make bias conclusion based on one side of the fact.

It is always great to consider both sides of the available facts to avoid inappropriate judgment. In the case of Ronda Rousey, we don’t know exactly why she failed in her quest. Only she can tell the cause. Nonetheless, the competition speaks itself; failure is always part of the game.

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